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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Pick a Crab

When steaming hot crabs hit the table, experienced hands grab first. Here's how to pick whole crabs.
  1. Remove the whole claws by twisting them away from the body. Guard them carefully but don't eat them yet.
  2. Turn crab upside down, and pry off the apron (small piece on the abdomen).
  3. Pry off carapace (top shell) and discard along with innards and gray, spongy gills (called "dead man's fingers").
  4. Snap crab's body in half right down the middle, separating the 2 sets of legs.
  5. Prod the white meat out of the honeycomb - like, framework of the crab's body using the sharp end of one claw as a picking tool.
  6. Crack large leg pieces with a crab cracker, mallet or kitchen shears (if shells are soft enough), and remove meat.
  7. Crack claw pieces with a cracker or mallet, and remove meat.