Day 2 Saturday – Crabtivating Crab
Sweet and captivating
I bet you didn’t know that male crabs, native to Britain, can contain more white meat than the female hens, are easier to cook and are generally preferred by chefs. Now you know!! Perfect in chowders, crab cakes, salads and pasta, this tasty crustacean adds a light, sweet flavour to these dishes, and it’s easy to cook. We’d recommend serving this shellfish with a spicy or sharp sauce to complement the crab’s delicate and sweet flavour.
Other crabs which you may be able to find include Alaskan king (paralithodes carntschatica) various species of spider crab, snow crab (family chionoecetes) and blue crab (callinectes sapidus), all of which have great tasting meat. Also sometimes available is the blue swimming crab (portunus pelagicus) which can be imported frozen, although mainly available as 454g tubs of succulent meat, which is pasteurised and chilled, giving it a six month shelf life. This is superb for crab cakes, chowders, salads and pasta.
Before cooking live crabs, the RSPCA recommend you first place them in a freezer for two hours, which renders them unconscious. Prior to cooking, insert a pointed rod (such as a kebab skewer) just above the mouth and push to the back of the shell. You can then plunge them into heavily salted (40g per litre) boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes for 500g, adding 2 minutes per additional 100g. Then remove and allow to cool. Alternatively the claws and body meat can be removed and steamed or stir-fried.