Lot of people love crab, more than frozen, fresh and lively crab have a nice taste. But I know it is scary thinking about dealing with live crabs, let alone dress them for cooking. Honestly speaking, I was not very confident about it either. I saw my mom cleaning of live crab and fish. I did some modification in her cleaning of crab. Because in india its different, here in US is different.
Checked in few of American grocery stores. They had the ‘snow crabs’, which were too big compared to what we get in India. I am not sure how they are cooked. Then in the Chinese shop, I found two different kinds, one was ‘Dungeness crabs’, which were again big compared to Indian crabs and were red in color. The crabs which I bought were “Blue Crabs” which more or less looked like where we get in native (chennai).
The live crabs with their claws might look scary but if you are careful while handling them it is not a very tough job and thought of a tastier treat awaiting at the end will make you feel strong surely. Like all other things in life, once you make up your mind, it is easy. I have tried to explain the steps of dressing and cleaning the crab. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. When you buy live crabs, they will provide you with a fairly strong paper bag to carry them back home , so don’t worry.
Now to dressing them up and cleaning.:
- Take lots of water in a pot, allow it boil in high heat about 10 mins. Take your live crabs ready near sink.
2. I transfer hot boiled water to other wider vessel, which will be easy to clean a live crab. Blanch a live crab in boiled water for 60 seconds. Take one crab out with the help of long tong, show it in cold water. It will easy to handle, from hot. Turn the crab, you can see the tail. If the tail is thin and pointed then it is a male crab. Where as the female crab has a broad tail. This is male crab, grab the top shell of the crab with your right hand and pull it. It will come off easily.
3. Turn it front side, discard a shell. After discarding the top shell, you need to clean the gills from both sides.
4. I also removed the yellow thing inside. On the edge of head, there are some hard small flaps, remove them. See gills on both sides in this pic. Clean all waste.
5. Wash under running water, and remove any remaining yellow stuff with your fingers. Do it gently so no meat is lost.
Break them in the middle of crab. If u like to break legs, you can. Unfortunately, this needs lot of time and patience. Now the crabs are ready to be cooked. Cook as you like. I will post my crab curry soon…….