How to Eat Crab
The photos in this hub shows a couple of mud crabs which I have cooked. They are cooked the only way I like to eat them, which is cooked in a broth, so I can enjoy its natural flavor.
When you eat crab this way it can be very messy. This can add to the dining experience as you and your partner try to avoid the juice spraying out from cracking the shell. This mainly occurs when you crack the nippers. Usually I crack the nippers by laying them in the palm of my hand and striking the top side with a metal meat tenderizer. So you can imagine the noise and commotion when I finally crack the shell and juice from inside sprays out.
Okay so you want to know how to cook the crabs first?
In a large pot of boiling water add a handful of rock salt, a splash of vinegar and a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce. You can add other ingredient here but that’s about all I add. These ingredients will enhance the natural flavors of the crab meat.
Add your uncooked crab to this boiling broth and cook for about 15 minutes per crab. When the time is up take the crab out of the broth with tongs and put it straight into your sink or a container with icy water. This will prevent the crab cooking in its shell. Remember if the crab cooks longer than 15 minutes it will usually overcook and the meat will become tougher.
Also mud crabs in Australia have to be 15cm (6 inches) across the back, so for smaller crabs you’ll have to reduce the cooking time. But if you cook them in batches you might have to adjust your time to suit. My basic rule of thumb is 15 minutes per mud crab.
Also if your crab is live please do the humane thing and put him on ice so it slows his metabolism down and he goes into hibernation before you put him into the boiling broth. (I say him all the time because in Australia we can only keep male crabs – called bucks). Being thrown into boiling water with his legs and nippers flailing everywhere can be quite cruel.
Now lets eat!
Learn how to catch crabs!
If you are interested to know some of the tricks and tips on how to catch these crabs than please click on this link to my hub page, "Let's go Crabbing!"
Once the crab is cooled down it’s quite easy to brake apart. Take the top shell off first by pulling from the sides. This will expose its innards which are termed “dead mans fingers” as they appear as grey finger like organs which wrap over the internal frame. These can be pulled off and I discard these. I clean out this part of the crab under a tap and loosen off all the soft offal. Turn the crab over and break away the reproductive cover plate. This forms at the back of the crab and extends to the centre. You will notice two furry probes to the outer of this cover plate, near the legs. These can be removed; these are the two penises that the male crab has! From here you can split the crab in half serve.
With whatever method you use, whether it’s with your fingers of a little fork to dig into the body frame and scoop the meat out. Break the nippers with your tools, and suck the meat off the centre skeleton blade within the nipper. You’ll notice quite a different flavor from the body meat to the nipper meat. Most people thing the nipper meat can be quite sweet.
It all sounds quite gross and messy but once you have one crab you’ll be hooked on the decadent flavor and wont want to stop at one!