If you’ve always been curious about how to eat whole cooked crab but never quite knew where to start, then you’re in the right place. While it may seem intimidating at first, cracking open a whole cooked crab is actually quite simple once you know the steps. With a little guidance and some patience, you’ll soon be enjoying the delicious meat that this crustacean has to offer.

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that eating whole cooked crab is a hands-on experience. You’ll want to roll up your sleeves and get ready to dig in. Before you begin, make sure you have a crab cracker or a sturdy pair of kitchen shears to help you break through the hard shell. And don’t forget to have a bowl of warm water with lemon slices nearby to clean your hands.

Begin by removing the legs and claws from the body of the crab. Hold the crab firmly and twist the legs and claws off. Use your crab cracker or kitchen shears to crack open the shells and extract the meat. The meat inside the legs and claws is often the most succulent and sweet, so take your time to savor it. Use a pick or a small fork to remove any remaining meat from the shells.

Once you’ve enjoyed the legs and claws, it’s time to move on to the body of the crab. Flip the crab over and locate the triangular flap on the underside. Lift the flap and use your fingers or a small fork to remove the feathery gills, also known as “dead man’s fingers.” These gills are not edible and should be discarded.

With the gills removed, you’ll now be able to see the crab’s main body cavity. Gently pull the body apart, separating it into two halves. Inside, you’ll find the delicate white crab meat. Use a small fork or your fingers to pick out the meat, taking care to avoid any small pieces of shell that may be present. The body meat is often considered the most prized part of the crab, so enjoy it slowly and savor every bite.

Now that you know the basics of how to eat whole cooked crab, you can confidently tackle this delicious delicacy. Whether you’re enjoying it on a sunny beach or at a fancy seafood restaurant, the satisfaction of cracking open a crab and indulging in its sweet meat is worth the effort. So next time you see a whole cooked crab, don’t be afraid to dive in and enjoy!

Preparing the crab

Before you can enjoy your whole cooked crab, you’ll need to prepare it properly. Follow these steps to get your crab ready for eating:

1. Clean the crab: Start by rinsing the crab under cold water to remove any dirt or sand. Use a brush to gently scrub the shell for a thorough cleaning.

2. Remove the claws: Hold the crab by its body and twist off the claws. Set them aside for later.

3. Crack the shell: Use a crab cracker or a pair of kitchen scissors to crack the shell of the body. This will make it easier to remove the meat inside.

4. Remove the top shell: With your fingers or a small knife, carefully lift off the top shell of the crab’s body. Set it aside.

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5. Discard the gills: Look for the feathery, greyish gills on each side of the body. They are located towards the back of the crab. Remove and discard them, as they are not edible.

6. Remove the stomach sac: Inside the body, you’ll find a small sac near the top. This sac contains the crab’s stomach. Use your fingers or a small spoon to remove and discard it.

7. Break the body in half: To make it easier to access the meat, use a strong knife to break the body of the crab in half.

8. Remove the meat: Use a small fork or your fingers to gently pick out the meat from the crab’s body and legs. Be careful of any small, sharp pieces of shell that may be present.

Tip: The meat from the crab’s body is usually sweeter, while the claw meat is firmer and more substantial. Enjoy them both!

Choosing a live crab

When it comes to eating whole cooked crab, choosing a live one is crucial to ensure freshness and quality. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect crab:

1. Size matters

Consider the size of the crab you want to cook. The bigger the crab, the more meat it will have. However, keep in mind that larger crabs can be tougher and require longer cooking times.

2. Look for signs of life

Inspect the crab to make sure it is alive and active. A live crab should be moving its legs and claws, and may even make some noise. Avoid crabs that appear sluggish or have a foul smell, as these may not be fresh.

Note: Some stores sell pre-cooked live crabs. While these may be convenient, they may not be as fresh as live crabs that you cook yourself.

Now that you know how to choose a live crab, it’s time to learn how to cook it!

Boiling the crab

To cook a whole crab, you’ll need to start by boiling it. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill a large pot with water, leaving enough room for the crab to be fully submerged.
  2. Add salt to the water, using about 1 tablespoon for every 4 cups of water. This will enhance the natural flavor of the crab.
  3. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  4. Using kitchen tongs or gloves, carefully place the live crab into the boiling water headfirst. Be cautious, as the crab may try to grab onto the pot or your hands.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and let the crab boil for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. While the crab is cooking, prepare a large bowl filled with ice water. This will be used to cool down the crab once it’s done boiling.
  7. After the cooking time has elapsed, carefully remove the crab from the boiling water and immediately place it into the bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and make it easier to handle.

Handling and cleaning

Once the crab has been cooled down, it’s time to handle and clean it before eating:

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Using your hands or a pair of kitchen tongs, gently remove the legs and claws from the body of the crab. Set them aside.

With your thumbs, lift up the pointed flap on the underside of the crab, known as the “apron,” and pry it off. Discard the apron.

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Next, use your fingers or a small knife to carefully separate the top shell, or carapace, from the body. Set the shell aside.

Extracting the crab meat

With the carapace removed, you’ll be able to access the delicious crab meat:

Break the body of the crab in half, separating it into two halves.

Using your fingers or a small fork, pick out any visible pieces of meat from the body.

Crack the legs and claws with a crab cracker or the back of a knife to extract the meat inside.

Once you’ve extracted all the meat from the crab, it’s ready to be enjoyed!

Remember to serve the crab meat with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy the sweet, delicate flavor of this delicious seafood delicacy.

Cleaning the crab

Before you can enjoy the delicious meat inside the crab, you need to clean it properly. Follow these steps to ensure a satisfying dining experience:

1. Remove the top shell:

Flip the crab upside down and locate the triangular-shaped apron on its underside. Hold the crab firmly and lift the apron with your fingers or a small knife, then pull it away from the body. This will expose the entrance to the crab’s internal cavity.

2. Discard the gills:

Once the top shell is removed, the crab’s gills, also known as “dead man’s fingers,” will be visible. These feathery structures play no part in the crab’s meat and are better off discarded. Use your fingers or a pair of tongs to pull out and discard the gills from each side.

3. Remove the “lady fingers”:

The crab’s “lady fingers” are the small, thin flaps located on either side of its body. These contain small amounts of meat but are often gritty and not very tasty. Carefully lift and remove the lady fingers to enhance your dining experience.

4. Break and clean the claws:

Using a crab cracker or a small mallet, gently break the crab’s claws at the joints. Once broken, separate the claw sections and remove the meat from each section using a crab pick or a small fork. Be sure to check for any small cartilage pieces that may need to be discarded.

Cleaning the crab may take a little time and effort, but it’s well worth it to enjoy the succulent, flavorful meat inside. Once cleaned, you can proceed to cook the crab according to your preferred recipe or simply enjoy it as it is.

Cracking the crab

Once your whole cooked crab is steaming hot and ready to eat, it’s time to crack it open and enjoy the succulent meat inside. Here’s how to do it:

Gather your tools

Before you start cracking the crab, make sure you have the necessary tools. You’ll need a crab cracker or nutcracker, a small fork or pick, and a pair of kitchen scissors.

Start with the legs

Begin by removing the legs from the body. Hold the crab firmly with one hand and twist off each leg at the base. Use the kitchen scissors to cut through the shell if necessary. Set the legs aside for now.

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Tip: To make the process easier, try lightly tapping the legs with the crab cracker to crack the shell before removing them.

Crack the claws

The claws of the crab are where you’ll find the most meat. To crack them open, hold the claw with one hand and use the crab cracker to apply gentle pressure until the shell cracks. Be careful not to apply too much force, as you don’t want to crush the meat inside.

Tip: If the shell doesn’t crack on the first try, rotate the claw slightly and try again until you find the right spot.

Extract the meat

Once the shell is cracked, use the small fork or pick to extract the meat from the claws and legs. Hold the broken shell with one hand and use the fork or pick to carefully remove the meat from the crevices, pulling it out in one smooth motion.

Tip: Some crab shells have small sections of cartilage. Be sure to remove these before enjoying the meat.

As you continue cracking and extracting the meat from the crab, take your time to savor each bite. The sweet, tender flesh inside is worth the effort!

Q&A

What is the best way to eat crab?

The best way to eat crab is to start by cracking the shell and removing the legs. Then, you can use a small fork or your fingers to pick out the meat from the legs and claws. Finally, you can use a crab cracker or a small knife to crack open the body and extract the meat inside.

Should I eat the yellow substance inside the crab?

The yellow substance inside a cooked crab is called the crab “mustard”. It is actually the hepatopancreas, which is the organ responsible for filtering impurities from the crab’s blood. Some people enjoy eating the mustard as it has a strong, rich flavor. However, others prefer to remove it before eating the rest of the crab.

What are some different ways to cook a whole crab?

There are many different ways to cook a whole crab. Some popular methods include steaming, boiling, grilling, and baking. Each method will result in a slightly different flavor and texture, so it’s worth experimenting to find your preferred cooking method.

How do I crack open the crab’s shell?

To crack open the crab’s shell, you can use a crab cracker or a small mallet. Simply place the cracker or mallet on the shell where you want to crack it, and apply gentle pressure until the shell cracks. Be careful not to press too hard, as you don’t want to shatter the shell into small pieces.

What are some side dishes that go well with crab?

There are many side dishes that pair well with crab. Some popular choices include coleslaw, corn on the cob, garlic butter noodles, grilled vegetables, and crusty bread. These dishes complement the sweet and savory flavors of crab and help to create a well-rounded meal.