HOW TO EAT SPIDER CRABS, VELVET CRABS, BROWN CRABS…
Along these years here in Ireland I found many people who didn´t know how to cook and eat the spider crabs. Of course there are many different recipes but I´m talking about eat only the legs and waste the rest of it.
It´s sad kill an animal only for the legs (in my opinion) and specially when the best is inside it. The meat inside, and the “soup” or the “corals” are the most appreciated in crabs.
That´s why I want to show how to do it and enjoy a spider crab.
First of all we are going to know if a spider crab is a male or a female. The one in the picture is a female. We can see the “cap” under the crab. It´s wide, cover almost all the crab. There is where it has the eggs. The claws are small and thin. And usually smaller size. Males are bigger, stronger. The “cap” is small and thin. Long and thin. The claws are bigger and much stronger. And use to be a bigger size, much bigger. The taste is different too. Male is a bit stronger, and the “soup” inside a big bitter. Female is smoother taste. And if we are in season will have “corals”, it is a red/orange meat with a really good taste. Some people prefer males, other prefer females… But both of them are very good (I use to take one of each to share)
Remember that if the females have eggs must be returned to the water. It´s not allowed take them egged.
Once boiled (salt water and bay leaves) we will remove the legs.
After that we will crush the legs with a small hammer or similar. Be careful don´t hit too hard or you will smashed it. We just want to brake it but without damage to the meat.
After that we will open the crab. We just need to take the crab from behind, one hand the upper part and with the other hand the other part of the crab. And pull. Will open very easy. If it is hard to do you are doing it wrong. Always the head down! If not once we are opening it the “soup” would be wasted (and doing a mess in the kitchen)
We can see how it is opened.
The par where the legs were it´s all meat. These are the muscles that move the legs. Remove the “cap” and the gills and waste it (the gills and the cap of course) Bend it, pushing. We will see how it brakes easy. And then to the other side, pulling. We will have two parts now.
After that we can cut each one in 2 or 3 pieces with a knife. Will be easier to remove the meat and eat.
The meat is between hard layers. Remove them and take the meat. With some practice it is easy and fast.
Inside the head we will have a dark “soup” very tasty. In females we could find corals if it is in season. In males will be a bit darker and with groups of white meat, like fat, really tasty too. This is one of the best parts of the crab. The strongest taste.
Some people mix it with bread, egg… In my opinion it is hide the real taste of the spider crab.
As we can see, we can eat almost everything, except the shell. Enjoy it!