Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cleaning a Crab

Most people I know would probably run away from cleaning a crab and that in normal circumstances would include me. But when you have a food blog you tend to do stuff that normally is not in your comfort zone.

One thing I learned through this process is the affirmation that being this close to a creature that loses its life so you could enjoy it makes you respect the food that you eat a lot more. When you grab something shrink wrapped from the super market you are far removed from the process that price is the only thing that matters not the well being of the creature or the way it was grown.

Cleaning the crab got easier by the third or the fourth one. I got the process all mapped out. My mom though she does not eat it cooks them back home and
had suggestions that helped.

If you buy live crabs it is best cook them immediately else keep them alive by putting them in a cooler. Put damp towels on the crab and put ice on the towels and that should keep them alive for about 8-10 hours till you are ready to cook them.

Keep a sturdy pair of tongs handy to lift the still live ones. Flip them onto the stomach and hitting them once or twice should kill them.

Flip the crab so it is laying on its shell. Flip it on to the stomach and give a few hard taps with a back of the knife or a hammer to the shell.
Remove the claws and set them aside.
Insert a knife into the space between the hard shell and shake backwards and forwards till you are able to rip it apart.
Remove the innards and the whiskers and clean out the intestines.

Flip the crab over, grab the tab and remove the covering. Split the crab in half.
Take a pot of water and add a tbsp of turmeric powder, drop the split crabs and the claws (to be used for the soup) and let them sit for about 20 minutes or so and then clean them in 3-4 changes of water.

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  1. Nice step by step instructions to clean the crab but I don't think I am ready to take up this task yet. When I am ready to clean the crab at home, will refer to your instructions,

  2. This post is a huge help Indo. I love to eat crabs but the idea of holding a live,squirming one horrifies me, leave alone kill it.
    Back home, Ma would dump them into boiling water.
    But I saw Kylie Kwong give a tip on a show which sounded more humane .... put the crab in the freezer for an hour. That puts it to sleep and so is less painful.
    Cleaning the insides is another challenge. Much thanks for this post.

    1. Sharmila, absolutely. It is not easy seeing a creature lose its life so we can enjoy it
      Actually cleaning the innards was the easy part compared to the other steps.

  3. ISG you are more daring than I! I've cooked many a lobster in my life but never a fresh live crab -- I don't think I could do it (though I love to eat them). That soup from the curry looks awesome :):)


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