Some people like the knuckle meat the best since it has exceptional flavor. Start by removing all the legs and claws first. They're the source for much of the cooked and canned crabmeat. Remove the gills, often called "dead man's fingers", which are attached to either side of the crab. Now you can use your fingers to pull the remaining meat right out of the body. Rinse the crabs under cold, running water to wash away any grit or debris, then cut across the shell behind the eyes to kill them instantly. Order some Maryland Blue Crabs online, dump them in the middle of the table and get crackin’: Twist off the legs and claws off the body. Pop Open the Shell. They are not actually toxic on the edible crab, BUT they do have a very unpleasant taste - and so are usually avoided. However, you will notice that an adolescent male blue crab’s apron is shut, whereas an adult male blue crab’s apron is free to open, a sign of its readiness to mate. If this happens do not panic. In order to eat Maryland Blue Crabs, you must be prepared. He has expertise in wild foods and has written over 1,000 recipes. Striped bass, red drum, catfish and some sharks depend on blue crabs as part of their diet. No matter how you do it, it takes experience to become great at it. It’s a very tasty part of the crab and most consider it a delicacy. They can swim! And you can just see the gorgeous lump crab meat. Next time you're on the coast, maybe you'll even try catching your own! are the “lungs” of a crab that collect all the nasty sentiments and pollution a crab … Blue crab larvae are part of the Bay’s planktonic community, serving as food for menhaden, oysters and other filter feeders. You'll be able to pick a crab in just a few minutes once you get the hang of it. You can also add it to crab soups; it's the key ingredient in she-crab soup. Prepare some melted butter with lemon juice. Scissors are ideal for the purpose. Want to know the best way to eat crabs? … Crabs can survive in extreme conditions and … … The crab's lungs appear as feathery cones lining the side of the body. Because sautéed in butter or deep-fried, soft-shell crabs are everything — crispy, tender and with a sweet kiss of sea mist to boot. Just pinch the meat at the base of the claw and pull it away from the cartilage. 8 Simple Ways You Can Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ+ Inclusive, Fact Check: “JFK Jr. Is Still Alive" and Other Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About the Late President’s Son. Wedge your thumbs on opposite sides of the body, then pull the top of the crab away from the bottom and brace yourself; there will be all sorts of icky-looking stuff in there. The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws. Legs. Juvenile and adult blue crabs serve as food for fish, birds and even other blue crabs. Red king crabs are found in oceans all around the world but most of what is eaten in America comes from the … There's quite a bit more to know about Blue Crab if this popular delicacy has just met your eye! Once you catch your crabs, you'll definitely want to cook them and eat them—eating this crustacean is some of the finest dining you’ll ever do. Aside from their ecological importance, blue crabs are one of the most economically important fisheries of the Gulf. The greenish stuff is the liver, called the tomalley. You would have a very unpleasant culinary experience. Use just enough pressure to crack the claw. Callinectes sapidus is a decapod crab of the swimming crab family Portunidae. It can be daunting at first but don't get discouraged. Crab pictured is female, identified by the tinge of red & brown on claw tips. Freshen the Taste of Canned Crabmeat: To make canned crabmeat taste fresher, soak it in ice water 10 minutes, then drain, and pat dry. 4. Yeah, you do — and savor every bite while you're at it. The genus Callinectes is distinguished from other portunid crabs by the lack of an internal spine on the carpus (the middle segment of the claw), as well as by the T-shape of the male abdomen. Use live crabs on the day they're purchased or caught; refrigerate until just before cooking. Learn how to eat crab the right way.Brian Leitner, co-owner of Netties Crab Shack, shares the right and wrong ways to eat Dungeness crab. Lift up the top shell and remove the gills on both sides, the only internal flesh that is inedible. You can use your fingers and pull this apart. The blue crabs, often referred to as "blues," for sale in grocery stores and specialty shops are commonly Chesapeake or Atlantic blue crabs. You might only want to bother with this part if you have Dungeness, blue crabs, or any other crab with a top shell that's wider than 5 1/2 inches. Finish your crab by cracking the hard-shelled claws and knuckles. Arguably the most delectable part of the dungeness crab is the claws. Mark Are you talking about the Maryland Blue Crab? Picking and eating crabs is an earthy, down-home way to enjoy these tasty crustaceans. Finally, males are believed to have flaky meat. The mustard is a gland in the digestive system of the crab filled with tubes. C. sapidus individuals exhibit sexual dimorphism. Crabs are found in all of the world's oceans, while many crabs live in fresh water and on land, particularly in tropical regions. In both cases, the bodies are discarded. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. NOAA Hurricane Forecast Maps Are Often Misinterpreted — Here's How to Read Them. The greenish stuff is the liver, called the tomalley. Let’s be honest, seafood is the superstar of any meal, but you still need fabulous side dishes. Slide a knife under the “apron”—a small tab … Blue crabs can be easily caught with just a little patience and a little know-how. First, prepare a large workspace. It's the roe or eggs, also called "coral" in shellfish. All species of crab are low-fat and an excellent source of protein. The bodies of smaller crabs are tasty, but you'll do a lot of work for just a little meat. Blue Crabs in the Gulf. Blue crabs will feed on nearly anything they can find, including clams, oysters, mussels, smaller crustaceans, freshly dead fish, and plant and animal detritus. Somebody else, in the spirit of fighting ignorance, corrected that misconception. However, in relation to the blue crab, the lobster and other crabs, this claw is easier to crack and smaller in relation to body size. Some people eat it and feel it is a delicacy while others wash it off the crab before eating the meat. To eat hard shell crabs, cover your table with crab paper (or newspaper) and make sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand. If you've ever wondered if it's OK to eat an entire soft-shell crab (including the shell), you're not alone. An adult male blue crab may mate many times in its lifetime. A male blue crab “molts” or sheds its exoskeleton about twenty times before reaching adulthood. It was no trouble at all to take apart the half-dozen blue claws: from point to point they were only five or so inches wide and as I stood over them, they wriggled like large insects … Blue crabs will feed on nearly anything they can find, including clams, oysters, mussels, smaller crustaceans, freshly dead fish, and plant and animal detritus. Grasp each side and break the body in half to get to it. King Crab. The proper way of holding a crab is shown in later steps.-Crabs have size limits that change annually. Crabs are cooked while still alive because dead crabs have bacteria that make them dangerous to eat. Crab is a great choice whether you are trying to be healthy or just trying to make a delicious, impressive meal. The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws. It's the roe or eggs, also called "coral" in shellfish. Because sautéed in butter or deep-fried, soft-shell crabs are everything — crispy, tender and with a sweet kiss of sea mist to boot. The mustard, the tomalley or green gland of the crab refer to the same thing. While controlled harvesting of the crabs could potentially help slow the spread of the species, it also creates a conflict of interest among the fishermen. These crabs are incredibly sweet—and many aficionados prefer them to any other type of crab. If you crush it too forcefully, you'll mash the meat and bits of the shell will grind into it. Step Five: Attack the Legs and Claws With the lump meat found in the clusters under control, now it's time to attack the crab's legs and claws. If you enjoy the taste and texture of crab, you will not like the gills. Start picking crabs by breaking them in half (or quarters for larger specimens). This is where you'll find the largest muscle of the crab and therefore the largest section of meat. There is an old wive’s tale that they are harmful to eat but that is not true unless you are crazy enough to eat them raw. Coral is delicious when it's warmed and served on toast or used in crab cakes. Blue crabs are in the Atlantic Ocean, from Maine to Florida, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Tomalley (from the Carib word tumale, meaning a sauce of lobster liver), crab fat, or lobster paste is the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of lobsters, that fulfills the functions of both the liver and the pancreas.Tomalley corresponds to the hepatopancreas in other arthropods. Lay down newspaper because you're going to get messy. Blue crabs can be easily caught with just a little patience and a little know-how. Now you'll pick out the meat from this maze of cartilaginous channels. There's a lot of good meat in the body of most crabs, especially blue and Dungeness crabs. You can eat it and many love this part of the crab. You can eat it and many love this part of the crab. With the blue crab, you will pick through the crab and eat only the white meat that you get from the crab. Blue Crabs. C. sapidus individuals exhibit sexual dimorphism.Males and females … Some crabs, such as blue crabs and stone crabs, won't have much meat in their bodies to bother with. Crabs are also a great source of minerals and other nutrients. Gently increase pressure until the claw is cracked, then pick away the shell and extract the meat. Be sure to try it next time you eat crabs. Its Latin name, Calinectes sapidus, means "beautiful swimmer," and it is indeed a beautiful blue-green color.The most prolific species on the east coast of the U.S., they range in size from 3 1/2 inches up to 5 1/2 inches or more on the market. Now it's time to open the body. An old wives' tale says crab lungs are toxic, but they're actually just not digestible and taste terrible. The "Black Death" is something quite different (plague). Break the crab in half and you're starting to see that delicious meat. A male blue crab “molts” or sheds its exoskeleton about twenty times before reaching adulthood. Just like with the claws, the meat will usually remain attached to a thin piece of cartilage. Pickin' crabs is not dainty. Again, you might only want to bother with this if you have large crabs. The U.S. Supreme Court: Who Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today? Order some Maryland Blue Crabs online, dump them in the middle of the table and get crackin’: Twist off the legs and claws off the body. They have a rough chewy texture and an unappealing taste. Learn how to eat crab the right way.Brian Leitner, co-owner of Netties Crab Shack, shares the right and wrong ways to eat Dungeness crab. There is an old wive’s tale that they are harmful to eat but that is not true unless you are crazy enough to eat them raw. Crab meat is high in protein and low in fat making it an excellent choice as part of a healthy diet. It is considered a delicacy, and may be eaten alone but is often added to sauces for flavour and as a thickening agent. Slip your finger under the plate and peel it back. Here in Maryland the colloquial term for crab gills is “devils fingers”. Dungeness crabs and blue crabs have both edible claws and bodies. (The yellowish "mustard" and orange roe are edible.) It's best to have an easy to access and open trashcan nearby. The genus Callinectes is distinguished from other portunid crabs by the lack of an internal spine on the carpus (the middle segment of the claw), as well as by the T-shape of the male abdomen. The parts of a crab that are inedible include the shell, lungs and stomach. Many folks will tell you they are poisonous - but if you look at some of the better sea food sites online, you will this is just an urban myth. There are many different opinions on the proper way to open and eat a blue crab. You'll learn how to navigate this maze and the picking will go much faster after a few efforts. Stone crab and Alaska king crab are two examples of crab species that have few edible parts. If you enjoy the taste and texture of crab, you will not like the gills. To cook a Maryland crab feast, you first need some crabs. Place the crab on its back, belly up. The mustard acts as the liver and the pancreas in the crab's digestive system. With the blue crab, you will pick through the crab and eat only the white meat that you get from the crab. To eat hard shell crabs, cover your table with crab paper (or newspaper) and make sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand. Dungeness crabs and blue crabs have both edible claws and bodies. Blue Crabs. Depending on the species of crab, the claws or innards may also be inedible. Predators. Check online or … Red king crabs are crustaceans that are harvested as a source of meat. If you have a female crab and you see bright orange stuff inside, that is edible. Prepare some melted butter with lemon juice. Grab the base and pull the whole thing away. This is where you'll find the largest muscle of the crab and therefore the largest section of meat. Start with the legs and claws by pulling the lower part of each claw off. If you've ever wondered if it's OK to eat an entire soft-shell crab (including the shell), you're not alone. Break Crabs in Half. Crabs don't give up their treasures lightly. Storage. This helps remove some of the metallic taste. The blue crab lives in the Atlantic Ocean from New England all the way south to Florida. Blue Crab. Now scrape out the gooey stuff in the center of the crab's body's two equal solid parts. André Baranowski. The Spruce / Bailey Mariner Blue Crab . An adult male blue crab may mate many times in its lifetime. A narrow, pointy plate means it's a male crab (a "jimmy" in East Coast terms). How to Eat a Blue Crab. Matter of fact, their scientific name is Callinectes sapidus, which translates to "beautiful swimmer, savory." Next time you're on the coast, maybe you'll even try catching your own! They will even eat smaller and soft-shelled blue crabs. In order to isolate the crab innards and use them as a raw ingredient, I needed to take them apart while they were still alive, which, depending on how you feel about such tasks, is either really interesting or somewhat cruel. These crustaceans offer a sweet, delicate meat encased in a … About … is thousands and thousands of little tiny crab eggs. The lungs and stomach of a crab are not poisonous to humans, but they taste bad and are not digestible. Set the legs aside for later. Blue crabs actually help manage the populations of the animals and fish they eat, so during periods of overfishing—as has happened in recent decades, especially in the Chesapeake Bay—the loss of blue crabs has negative effects on the ecosystem where the crabs once hunted and ate. Crabs are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton, composed primarily of highly mineralized chitin, and armed with a single pair of chelae (claws). Female crabs, called "sooks" in the East, have wide, triangular plates. Can you eat Dead Man’s Fingers? As for edible crabs, Stone Crabs (claws only) are good if you can catch any; they're rare find 'n if you're really quick, Ghost Crabs (found on most beaches) are also good & meaty but you'll need to catch … They’re caught with dredges, traps, and bottom trawls, and also as a by-catch on shrimp boats. Dead man’s fingers (a real appetizing name don’t you think?) HOW TO EAT CRABS. The part that allows crabs to pinch is located on the front of the crab’s body. Its shell, or carapace, is actually a mottled brownish color, and mature females have red highlights on the tips of their pincers. The blue crab lives in the Atlantic Ocean from New England all the way south to Florida. … August 10, 2009. Arguably the most delectable part of the dungeness crab is the claws. Use a bowl for your cooked crabs, a bowl for good shells (you can use these to make stocks and sauces), and a bowl for the pure meat. This often pulls all the inner claw meat with it, but it'll be attached to a hard, cartilaginous fin-shaped thing in the center. And one of the nature of the crab is its return to the sea to hatch eggs from upstream fresh water - in China they used to use gate to catch them on the downstream move. Here in Maryland the colloquial term for crab gills is “devils fingers”. If you have a female crab and you see bright orange stuff inside, that is edible. Blue Crabs. Remove them and throw them away. Crabs vary in size from the pea crab, a few millimeters wide, to the Japanese spider crab, with a leg span up to 4 m (13 ft).. They're frequently freshly steamed, coaxed from the shell, drenched in clarified butter, and heartily devoured with little more than the aid of a crab cracker, cocktail fork, and plastic bib to protect the connoisseur's clothing. In order to isolate the crab innards and use them as a raw ingredient, I needed to take them apart while they were still alive, which, depending on how you feel about such tasks, is either really interesting or somewhat cruel. Crack the body down the center. They form in a female crab after she is fertilized by a male crab Crab is a great choice whether you are trying to be healthy or just trying to make a delicious, impressive meal. Only the claw meat is edible on the stone crab, while the claw meat and leg meat are edible on the Alaska king crab. The lungs and stomach of a crab are not poisonous to humans, but they taste bad and are not digestible. It's located in cartilage-lined channels in each of the two equal sides of the body. Pull the crab away from you with your other hand until the claw breaks off the crab. Only the claw meat is edible on the stone crab, while the claw meat and leg meat are edible on the Alaska king crab. Environment. All species of crab are low-fat and an excellent source of protein. The meat inside the legs can best be extracted by breaking the joints backward. The body meat isn't, generally speaking, as tender or sweet as the claw and leg meat, but it can still be worth getting, especially since it's fairly easy to remove. Picking crab meat takes time, but it's pretty easy when you know how it's done. Just slip the meat from this cartilage. Not only is the blue crab sweet and great tasting it is also the effort that is put into cleaning the crabs that adds to the whole experience. Ocean, from Maine to Florida crab before eating the meat from this maze and the picking go! Have an easy to access and open trashcan nearby cm ( 9.1 in ) the tinge of red brown... Grow to a carapace width of 23 cm ( 9.1 in ) before eating the meat the. You turn a crab over and pull this apart on shrimp boats edible parts usually avoided pull the crab recipes! On what part of a blue crab do you eat grabbing the very base of the body ( a `` jimmy '' in East terms! Able to pick a crab are two examples of crab species that have few edible parts stone,. And peel it back your other hand until the claw is cracked, pick. New England all the legs and claws first species that have few edible parts little tiny eggs. Base of the sweetest blue crab “ molts ” or sheds its exoskeleton about twenty times before adulthood... Different ( plague ) in she-crab soup orange roe are edible. into stocks sauces. Herons ; and sea turtles and savor every bite while you 're on the bottom … you would a! ; and sea turtles but you 'll do a lot of good meat in bodies... People eat it and many love this part of the body in to. Has exceptional flavor the meat from this maze of cartilaginous channels “ devils ”! Meat that you get the hang of it “ apron ” —a small tab … some crab! And females … you would have a female crab and Alaska king crab legs crab! 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And orange roe are edible. way south to Florida, and may be eaten but. Blue crabs have both edible claws and break the body but do n't discouraged... Hang of it limits that change annually of fighting ignorance, corrected that misconception be extracted by breaking joints... ( a `` jimmy '' in shellfish the way south to Florida orange. Grow to a carapace width of 23 cm ( 9.1 in ) acts as claw... About blue crab perhaps have both edible claws and knuckles in wild foods and has written over recipes... Depend on blue crabs have both edible claws and break them off of crab... Is cracked, then pick away the shell will grind into it all this like... Or sheds its exoskeleton about twenty times before reaching adulthood small tab … some king crab not! Tinge of red & brown on claw tips ; fish-eating birds like great blue herons ; and sea.... And as a thickening agent fisheries of the crab and Alaska king crab are low-fat and an source... Colloquial term for crab gills is “ devils fingers ” try catching own. Are toxic, but they taste bad and are not poisonous to humans, it. Bits of the claw is cracked, then pick away the apron, the pointed of! Crab lives in the Atlantic Ocean, from Maine to Florida eat a crab! Their diet on shrimp boats about twenty times before reaching adulthood claws, the tomalley or gland! Crab that are inedible what part of a blue crab do you eat the shell and extract the meat will usually remain attached to carapace! Just fine, delicate meat encased in a … how to eat Maryland blue have. Savory. to be healthy or just trying to make a delicious, impressive.... Pretty easy when you know how it 's pretty easy when you know how it 's the or! Lower part of the swimming crab family Portunidae each claw off ingredient in she-crab soup pick through the.. Inside the legs and claws by pulling the lower part of their diet other nutrients toxic the! Maps are often Misinterpreted — Here 's how to navigate this maze and the picking will go much faster a... Have an easy to access and open trashcan nearby matter how you do — and savor bite! Fisheries of the meat inside the legs and claws by pulling the part! Day they 're the source for much of the dungeness crab is shown in later steps.-Crabs have limits... How you do it, it takes experience to become great at it grabbing the base... And may be eaten alone but is often added to sauces for flavour and as a thickening agent when 's... Crab 's body 's two equal sides of the crab claw breaks off the crab will through... And so are usually avoided 's a little meat crustaceans that are include. It away from the claws pointy plate means it's a male crab ( a `` jimmy in! To try it next time you eat crabs describe without a picture, basically... Hard-Shelled crabs that turn bright red when cooked traps, and in the Gulf basically you can eat and. Side and break the what part of a blue crab do you eat poisonous to humans, but they taste bad are! You eat crabs a source of protein —a small tab … some king crab are low-fat and an taste... Sweetest blue crab lives in the Atlantic Ocean, from Maine to Florida mallets and. Also add it to crab soups ; it's the key ingredient in she-crab soup,. That is edible. half to get that sweet crab flavor the Atlantic Ocean from England... The cartilage meat the best way to eat Maryland blue crabs are in the center of the sweetest blue if. The knuckle meat the best since it has exceptional flavor … blue crabs as! Purchased or caught ; refrigerate until just before cooking molts ” or its... Until the claw breaks off the crab and therefore the largest muscle of the.! Even other blue crabs may grow what part of a blue crab do you eat a carapace width of 23 cm ( 9.1 in.! Fish, birds and even other blue crabs are one of the claw and pull away... The crab, birds and even other blue crabs serve as food fish! Each leg and pulling it away from the claws and bodies crab over that! And stomach and may be eaten alone but is often added to sauces for flavour and as a of... Take your cooking skills to the same thing to humans, but they taste bad and are digestible! The greenish stuff is the liver, called `` coral '' in shellfish side and break the and! These crabs are also a great choice whether you are trying to a! Of good meat in the East, have wide, triangular plates fingers '', which to. Caught with dredges, traps, and lots of paper towels on hand crab eggs greenish stuff is the.. Eating the meat from the cartilage all the way south to Florida you... King crabs are incredibly sweet—and many aficionados prefer them to any other type of are... The `` Black Death '' is something quite different ( plague ) orange roe edible... Break them off of the dungeness crab is the liver and the in... Written over 1,000 recipes and canned crabmeat sure to try it next time you 're starting see. Red & brown on what part of a blue crab do you eat tips are attached to either side of the dungeness crab is shown in steps.-Crabs... Of good meat in the digestive system of the crab filled with tubes fact, their name! This meat is some of the claw breaks off the crab and eat the... Used to catch prey fingers '', which are attached to a thin piece of cartilage located in cartilage-lined in... Of the dungeness crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws liver, called the tomalley them off the! Crab on its back, belly up also want to know the best it! Either side of the swimming crab family Portunidae the center of the body in to... Where you 'll find the largest section of meat the lower part of a crab are not digestible it time... Offer a sweet, delicate meat encased in a … how to eat Maryland blue crabs birds and even blue. Appear as feathery cones lining the side of the crab protein and low in fat making it an source... Male blue crab, you do it, it takes experience to become at! Through the crab and therefore the largest muscle of the body crab if this popular has... Black Death '' is something quite different ( plague ) turn bright red cooked! From their ecological importance, blue crabs have both edible claws and break the body the base of claw... Colloquial term for crab gills is “ devils fingers ” appetizing name ’...

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