There is perhaps a direct relation between the cooking method and the eating etiquette. Most dishes take time, labor, and constant juggling of different tasks to create the perfect palate teaser. Contrast this with cooking crab where the best way to cook it is to simply boil or steam it. The effort is minimal. However, when it comes to eating, other dishes are a simple affair. Eating crabs on the other hand will make you look like a barbarian. It is a very messy affair. For how do you relish something that is served with its shell, legs, and claws intact? Your simple knife and fork would fare badly when faced with such an armor. The best is to adopt the style that is prevalent since centuries, and that is to probe and pluck the meat out with your fingers. Looks out of place in any dining table! However, this is a sacrifice that many crab lovers are willing to make. For a perfectly boiled or steamed crab, with a little bit of melted butter is considered to be far more succulent than all the other meats put together. Seasoned only with salt and the right heat can do wonders in preserving the flavors and aroma of the crabmeat. The excellent taste perhaps results from the meat being cooked in its shell along with the juices. That is why no cook in their right mind would remove the shell and cook the crab. To know more on how you can cook fresh crab read below.
Tips On Cooking Fresh Crabs
- In a large saucepan take 2 liters of water and add 2 tablespoons of sea salt in it. Then bring it to a boil.
- Hold the crab by the back legs and put it in the water. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes if the crab is large and 8 to 10 minutes for medium and smaller crabs.
- When the water starts boiling reduce the heat and simmer until the shell turns bright orange. Then take out the crab and keep it for a few seconds in cold water.
- Boiled crabs can be immediately garnished with melted butter. For further use, let the crab cool down completely and then remove the meat and refrigerate.
- Take one cup of vinegar, two cups of water, and two tablespoons of salt in a steamer. Bring it to a boil.
- Place the fresh crabs in ice water for three minutes. Place the crab on the steaming rack and season it. Cover the lid.
- Steam in high heat for 20 minutes till the shell turns bright red or orange. Then remove the crab and rinse under cold water.
- Hold the back base of the crab with one hand and pull the shell away with the other hand.
- Then turn the crab and pull the triangular section away.
- Turn the crab again and then gently scrape the gills with a spoon. Discard the intestine from the center of the back.
- Twist the legs off and rinse the whole body in cold water.
- Break the body in half. Use a mallet to crack the claws taking care not to break it or it will be very difficult to separate the shell pieces from the meat.
- Use a fork to pick out the meat. Save the juices from the shell to use in sauces, soups, and stocks.
- While cooking crabs it should be completely submerged in the water with an additional 5 inches on top.
- To better handle the crab, you should chill it.