Recipes for Crabs — Dungeness, Red Crabs, Rock Crabs and Spider Crabs

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
For full information and pictures on the various California crabs go to my article on kenjonesfishing.com —

http://kenjonesfishing.com/2012/01/california-crabs-—/

Posted by Ken Jones

From Pier Fishing In California, 2nd Ed. — Cleaning and Cooking Crabs

During the ‘70s I lived in the East Bay community of Pinole. One of the highlights each year was a "crab feed" put on by the local Lions Club. For just a few bucks a person got some green salad, crusty sourdough French bread, a little bowl of Thousand Island dressing, and all the Dungeness crabs you could clean and eat. Everybody put on their bibs, grabbed the pliers and small forks, and dove (figuratively) into the melee. Between the crabs and some cheap red vino (I know, I know — it's supposed to be white with seafood), it was quite a little neighborhood gathering. Such popular "crab nights" were a fixture in many communities during those days, but that was twenty-five years ago. Today I still occasionally see such crab feeds advertised in the papers but there seem to be less and less each year. And the cost now is upwards of $30 (or more) per person.

Surprisingly, even though I've fished from piers for nearly forty years, I've never really gotten into "crabbing." I like to eat them, I just don't care to spend my time catching them. Nevertheless, crabbing is one of the main past times of "Pier Rats" in central and northern California. Given that fact, it might be useful to know how to properly clean and prepare the delicious crustaceans.

The directions below come from an excellent little pamphlet put out by the Washington State Department of Fisheries. It's titled Coastal Washington Jetty and Surf Fishing and was/is available free from the Office of Information and Education, 115 General Administration Building, Olympia, Washington 98504.

"The usual method to cook crab is to drop the live crabs into boiling salted water. Put them in upside-down; the crab will fold its legs against its shell. Be sure the water is at full rolling boil, so the crab dies instantly. The salted, rapidly boiling water will firm the meat and improve the flavor. Use 1/4 cup salt to each quart of water. Cover and boil 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool quickly in cold water. When cool, lift the top shell from the rear and pull off. Discard the shell and the yellow fat, which clings to it. Discard the brown colored gills on both sides under the back shell. Turn the crab on its back and break off the mouth parts and the tail piece (apron), turn over and scrape out the center fat and entrails, and flush the cavity under cold running water.

Crab meat can be “cracked” and then eaten directly from the shell, with a sauce, or in a more elaborate recipe. The body meat may be shaken out of the crab by breaking the crab in half, crushing the shell, and knocking it against the edge of a bowl. Use a small pick, claw, or fork to remove bits of meat from the shell, but avoid crushing the meat. Pliers may be used, if gently handled, to crush the leg shell. Break away the shell and extract the meat."

2018 Update — Today just go to the Washington Fishing & Shellfishing Page for additional information — https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/clean_prepare.html

Another section from the book — New friends, conversation and interesting stories are bonuses when I visit California's piers. One such story was provided by an angler sharing the rail at the Elephant Rock Pier in Tiburon, up in San Francisco Bay. He had grown up in Santa Monica and related how, as a teenager, he would go out at night to the Santa Monica Pier to go fishing. According to him, there were a number of Chinese fishermen who made a regular habit of snagging crabs with large treble hooks. Not much of a story there except that they evidently kept a fire going under a large pot filled with seawater. As they caught a crab it went into the pot and an ongoing communal sort of crab feast was the result. He said he would sneak a bottle of wine from his parent's larder and he and the Chinamen (his words) would fish and feast (a.k.a. party) most of the night. This was supposed to have occurred back in the ‘60s. Today you would probably need to bring some crusty sourdough bread, the proper cheese, and a good Cabernet if you wanted to do it right (although a proletarian Zinfandel seems more appropriate for a pier)!

As seen, to enjoy fresh Dungeness or rock crabs requires nothing more than the cooked crab itself and perhaps a little salad, bread, and dressing along with, if so inclined, a little wine. The taste of the crab meat itself is delicious. However, there are many, many recipes and ways to enjoy the crab.

From Pier Fishing In California, 2nd Ed. — Everyone in our house loves crab cakes and whenever we travel to an area known for its crabs — Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, New Orleans — and of course the San Francisco Bay Area, we like to sample he local variety. The following is a somewhat generic recipe and will work equally well with almost any type of crab.

Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

• 1 lb. flaked crab meat
• 2 slices bread
• Milk
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Pepper
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 egg, beaten


Break bread into pieces after removing crusts. Dip in milk and press out excess milk. Mix with all remaining ingredients. Shape into cake and fry until golden brown. Serves 4.

Posted by Eelmaster

Crab and Asparagus Salad

This is a modified version of an appetizer I had on Decatur Street in New Orleans at a place called Maximos. They used shrimp and more of a vinaigrette. But, I like mine. The dressing is also killer with tuna tartar.

Ingredients:

• 1 bunch of asparagus steamed.
• A good amount of lump, Dungy, or red crab meat.
• 2 fire-roasted red bell peppers (really roasted tender and peeled)
• Olive oil
• 2 lemons
• Dash of balsamic vinegar
• Salt & pepper
• A dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dressing:

* In a blender add fresh fire-roasted peppers, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire. Blend vigorously. add olive oil (keep blender on so as to emulsify)until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste and chill.
• Stack the asparagus in the center of the plate with all spears facing the same direction. Pile lump crab meat on top. Then drizzle the fire roasted emulsion around the plate.

Posted by frozendog

Ah, Chef Eely-M is at it again. Sounds good but two lemons is over my limit. How about 1 lemon and 1 orange? Mrs. Eely-M is such a lucky woman.

Posted by Eelmaster

Yeah, man. What ever you like. An orange would probably be really good. A little extra sweetness. That's kind of the point of the balsamic. May switch the two out.

Posted by rsaxatilis on November 16, 2006

It's Crab Season! Where's the Recipes?

SPICY COCO CRAB

Ingredients:

• 2 Medium size Dungeness crabs, shell cracked open (do not remove crab fat), body quartered (Keep juices)
• 3 tablespoons oil
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
• 1 yellow onion, halved and then sliced into thin pieces
• 6 ounces julienned ginger
• 1-2 diced jalapeno peppers
• 2 green onion stalks
• 1 can coconut milk (Chaokoh brand if available)

Preparation/Cooking:

• Heat oil (medium heat) in a 5-quart pan and sauté garlic until golden brown, add sliced yellow onion and sauté for about 2 minutes until onion turns translucent.
• Put ginger and sauté for another 3 minutes.
• Put quartered crabs and shell with crab fat inside. Sauté for another 3 minutes until the juices from the crab come out.
• Put the diced jalapeno peppers and let simmer under medium heat until most of the liquid is gone (do not let the liquid completely evaporate).
• Mix in the coconut milk (still under medium heat) and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
• Put the green onions last, turn off the heat, and cover for another 2 minutes. • Salt and pepper to taste.
• Serve in a deep-dish bowl and eat with steamed white rice.
Bon Appétit!

Posted by fatzmalone

Stir Fried Dungeness & Sweet Chili Sauce & BokChoy

Ingredients:

• 2 live Dungeness crabs, 1 1/2 pounds each
• 1/4 cup peanut oil
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
• 2 fresh red chiles, sliced
• 4 heads baby bok choy, halved
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• 1/4 cup sake
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
• Butter lettuce
• 2 chopped green onions, white and green part
• 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
• White rice, for serving

Preparation/Cooking:

• First thing to do is "dismantle" the crabs before you wok-fry them. Toss the live crabs into salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Next, place the crabs top-side up, and stick your thumb under the edge of the top shell, pull forward and lift the shell up and off, and reserve. Scrape out the gills that are found on top of the body. Now, turn the crabs over and on the underbelly you will find the "apron," a slightly-lifted triangular flap, pull this off too. Finally, rinse the crabs of all the grey or green spongy stuff (the soft yellow matter is fat or crab butter and considered desirable by many, keep it if you wish.) Divide the crabs into quarters with a big knife, leaving the legs attached to the 4 sections.
• Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat until almost smoking. • Add the garlic, ginger, chiles, and bok choy.
• Stir-fry for 1 minute, then remove to a side platter.
• Toss in the crab pieces, including the top shells. Take the top shells out after 1 minute, continue to stir-fry the crab for 3 minutes. With a big spoon or spatula, remove the crab pieces to the side platter.
• Now on to the sauce, pour 1 cup of water into the wok, along with the brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, and sake.
• Stir for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar.
• Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook another minute until the sauce thickens.
• Return the crabs and bok choy to the pan, toss everything together to coat.
• Cover, and cook for 3 minutes.

To serve, line a large platter with butter lettuce leaves, and arrange the crabs with the top shell back on top so it looks roughly like a whole crab again - cool right? Put the bok choy around the crab and pour the sauce all over the top. Garnish with the green onions and peanuts. You'll need crab crackers, mini forks, a side bowl for the shells, a stack of napkins, and bowls of warm lemon water to clean your hands. Serve with steamed white rice.

Fatzmalone... Always remember to never trust a skinny cook.
 
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Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Posted by Ken Jones

Spider (Sheep) Crabs — Our most misunderstood crab — For full information and pictures see —

http://kenjonesfishing.com/2017/02/can-you-eat-spider-sheep-crabs/

When I was a kid fishing from the Newport Pier in the '60s, people would occasionally have a big old, gnarly-looking spider (sheep crab) latch onto their bait and hang on till they got it to the pier. Everyone would come over and look at the crab and almost always the crab would be dropped back into the water since it was obviously not fit to eat. Little did we know! Years later when fishing at the Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara I noticed the large number of spider crabs they had for sale at the fish market and the price they were getting for them. Obviously someone liked them.

July 11, 1999
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Felix68
Subject: BIG TICK LOOKING CRABS...


Hey guys, decided to get some fresh air today and went fishing off the south side of Morro Rock. I used frozen anchovies and the fish count was 2 small rockfish, 3 starfish, 2 small jacksmelt, and two large tick looking crabs. The crabs had a pointed nose and spikes on their back. The two I caught must have weighed close to 3 lbs. I've fished Morro Bay dozens of times and have seen pretty much everything in the bay. These crabs are new to me. Should I have kept them and pulled out the melted butter. I'm too lazy to look them up on the 'puter so I'll just wait for you guys to tell me what's up.

Posted by Troy

Look under the pictures on this website and look under the archive of June 1998. I think this is your crab. Troy

Posted by FELIX (PK)

Yeah spider crab... I've talked to a Korean lady from work and she said they are pretty much worthless as food... is this true?

Posted by Troy

I'm not too sure about the food value, but being a Korean also, and knowing that Koreans eat everything...then if a Korean lady told you it's not worth eating, it's probably true. Maybe somebody else could help us out on this question...Troy

Posted by Snookie

It sounds as if the crab mentioned is a sheep crab (Loxorhynchus grandis). If this is the case, then this crab is quite edible and good. The 3 pound size makes it not quite as desirable. To be easier to prepare the carapace should be more than 7 inches wide. To prepare the crab for cooking take the legs off with as much meat as possible from the carapace. Put them in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes. Cool. Now prepare for a hard job. Getting the meat out of the leg’s shell is a task. You will need a good hammer and something like a steel anvil to pound on. The shell on this type of crab this big is about 1/4 inch thick in parts. It is a tough job but well worth it! Good eating. Snookie

Posted by FELIX ( PK )

Thanx for the help guys…after seeing the pic in the June 98 archive and after doing a bit of investigating, I'm absolutely positive that what I was hooking were indeed "Spider Crabs." I'm just wondering how odd it is too see them in this area and if they are common around the central coast....I gotta start snorkling.

Posted by kcruise

In England, the spider's we catch are sheep crabs. They are considered quite good and eaten in France. Lots of crabbing in the Channel for these...The males tend to weight in between 8-15lbs, with large powerful pincers. Females will weigh up to 5lbs. Their pincers are smaller. I keep crabs over 3.5-4lbs.

The real secret to eating these monsters is in the cooking. I give them an hour minimum in boiling water. They will smell terrible while cooking, but the smell will change to a sweet smell when they are ready to crack. I use an old canning pot, the type used for boiling canning jars. You'll want to scrub them down with wire bristle brushes before you cook them.

To clean them, remove them from the pot and let cool water run on the bodies for a few minutes. Ready two bags, one for the good parts, the other for the guts and whatnot.

First, remove the legs. You'll have to twist them to get them off. Next, you need to remove the bottom flap on the shell. On the females, this is where the eggs are. It should be popped open with you remove them. The trick is to remove it and the piece of shell on the back of the top shell. Once this is off, you can wash out a lot of the guts. Now use a butter knife and work your way around the shell to remove the top shell.

Once this comes off, you'll have the bottom of the crab, the mandibles, gills and other gross stuff! Remove the gills and mandibles with you hands. Be careful around the mandibles, they can be sharp. You should now see the meat, which will be an off-white color. Anything yellow or beige needs to be removed. Also, some of the carpice in side can be broken off. I also break the bottom in two, making it easier to clean. Once it's all cracked, you should have at least 1/2-1 cup of crab meat. You may have to crack the shell with a mallet. Use a dish towel to wrap the crab and give it a few whacks!

You can freeze the cooked crab and use it later, or fridge it. My favorite dish is crab pasta in alfredo sauce. Use the crab, pine nuts, alfredo sauce and any style pasta. Cook the pasta, add the crab, pine nuts and sauce, mix and serve. It also goes well with any other seafood dish. Crab salad can be made, and an 8lbs male will have enough meat to feed 5 people, with left overs.

This comes from catching crabs almost every weekend in the summer of 2001.

Posted by Ken Jones

I believe that the term spider crab is a fairly generic label covering many different species like the sheep crab or masking crab. Bottom line is that they are different looking than the Cancer crabs (Dungeness, yellow, rock crab, red crab) but also delicious to eat if you're lucky enough to get a large one.

Posted by finkelstien on October 19, 2000

I fished from 6pm till midnight and boy were the small mack’s hitting at one point it took five seconds after the bait hit the water to get a bite — yippee! I put most back but i did have a crab net down and caught 10 spider crabs !!! One was so big that with the legs extended it was bigger than the hoop net (36″) There is going to be a feast tonight !!!

Posted by ghsu

What are the regulations for Spider Crabs? Or can they be caught all year? The ones I ran into are often very dirty looking. Are they any good eating? Thanks.

Posted by zen

You better watch out if ur gonna eat its orange stuff inside the shell, taste kinda good but that’s packed with cholesterol

Posted by asegoria

They are really tasty, but their shell is so thick you need a few good whacks from a respectable hammer to crack it. They also take a longer time to cook. I have never heard of any reg’s regarding them. They can also get incredibly large; I’m sure finkelstein’s description is no exaggeration. tomba

Posted by baitfish

What part do you eat and how do you clean them? I caught one at Santa Barbara Wharf, one time when I was fishing. Reeled him right up onto the pier, guess he really wanted that squid. Anyway, when I looked at him he had a heavy algae coating on top with worms. Not to appetizing! Didn’t think to try and eat one. But when I was leaving I noticed the sold them live at the fish market right on the pier. Maybe I should have sold it to them:) So do you just boil them or how do you prepare them? I have a crabbing/ landing net, so I could always through it over and see what happens. any suggestions for bait, technique etc.? Tight Lines, Baitfish

Posted by ISO LUNKERS

Well, as far as cooking I am not sure, but I was told about 7-8 min per pound; the last spider crab I caught was about 8-9lbs. The technique I used was tying just the leg of a panty house filled with sardines. Worked great! I have been told by many locals that in the winter Port Hueneme pier is a hot spot for them. Hope this helps.

Posted by finkelstien

Ok, the reason people don’t eat them is they are a lot of work to clean but this is how I do it.
• 1st clean as much of the “stuff” off of them (i do this while waiting for the water to boil).
• 2nd drop them in boiling water for 3 mins then remove them and brush them with a stiff brush and remove as much of the debris from off of them.
• 3rd discard the water and start another pot boiling (always change the water after the first boil); boil four mins per pound.
• Be sure to get the meat from the leg joints of the body. It’s a lot of labor but the meat is the greatest oh and get the slip joint pliers to crack the legs open. As for bait I use four large hooks to keep my bait on the net (4/0 or bigger) and I use squid and anchovies mostly.

Posted by fishfinder on April 16, 2001

Anyone know where I can catch some spider crabs this time of year? Also what bait? Any DFG regs on Size or Bag Limits? I live in the L.A. area. thanks Pat

Posted by baitfish

Try Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara.

Posted by Snookie

Balboa Pier is a good place for catching spider crabs. They can be all around the pier from past the surf to the end of the pier. This time of year is the best time to get them. I have always caught mine on live bait and a single hook, but your umbrella net or a somewhat flat landing net will do well too. Lace these with dead bait. Dead anything will do however. Do no keep the small crabs. They are only trouble to fix. I usually try to have crabs with a carapace size of from 7 too 9 inches in diameter. These are the tastiest. They are also the hardest to work with. The legs are surrounded with 1/4 inch thick armor, but it is worth the effort. When the crabs are caught, you can remove the legs and put them into a cooler to be cooked when you get home. Steam as you would any crab. They are deeeeelicious. Good luck. Snookie

Posted by fishfinder

Thanks guys. I think I will maybe try for them later this week. Haven’t decided where though. Tight Lines, Pat

Posted by CK

I catch loads of them at Hueneme Pier. I was just there and ended up catching about two dozen but only kept the biggest three. I would literally pull up three at a time. They are all over right now.

Posted by anomaly

What type of net or contraption are you using? I have a hoop net. Will that work for me at Hueneme? Thanks Anomaly

Posted by CK

Ya, everyone else uses the hoop nets and they catch a lot of crabs. You will find you catch quite a few Dungeness crabs as well. Most are small but every once in awhile you’ll get a nice one.

Posted by baitfish

How do you cook them and for how long? Adam

Posted by fishfinder

I have read that you can cook them whole. Drop them in boiling water for 3-5 min. and then scrub the shell with a wire brush or some steel wool to get all the plant matter and other little creatures off. Then start a fresh pot boiling and cook them 8-9 min. a pound. You can also just ripp off the legs and cook them for 8-9 min. a pound. The shell is very tough so they have to cook a long time. This is just what I’ve read. Never actually done it though. Hope this helps. Pat

Posted by baitfish

Thanks for the info! I have caught a couple of huge ones of of Fisherman’s Wharf in S.B. Just never ate one. I wonder how they taste/texture… Adam

Posted by mmmmfiiiish on October 20, 2002

I got to the pier about 3:30pm and caught two jacksmelt that went to waste on a sliding rig in the first two hours. At 5:30, I walked back to my car and grabbed my hoop net, and stopped by the store for a mackerel and some squid. From 6:00-1:30, the squid never even got a nibble. As for the net, all it produced was a big ugly barnacle encrusted crab. Yes, those ARE 12″ planks. Unfamiliar with crab species and regs, I played it safe and released it. Anyone have any idea what kind that is? Also, how long does it take a barnacle to get that big (about an inch and a half wide next to the front right leg)? Tim

Posted by tombaAtwork

It’s a Sheep Crab and that is a small one. They taste really good, but one that size has very little meat. The shells are so thick you need a ‘real’ hammer to break them. Bigger ones have much meatier claws.

Posted by baitfish

Too bad the conditions were ripping for you to. BTW, it’s a spider crab.

Posted by tombaAtwork

I think Spider Crab and Sheep Crab both refer to the same species on the West Coast. I have heard people call them Spider Crabs.

Posted by baitfish

Interesting, I have never heard of it being called a sheep crab, but spider crab is also the common name for this crab. After doing some searching, it looks like both names are used, but that is a first for me. Adam

Posted by das limpet

Does kinda look like a sheep. baaaaaaaa. A SHEEP FROM HELL!

Posted by kcruise

In England, the spider’s we catch are sheep crabs. They are considered quite good and eaten in France. Lots of crabbing in the Channel for these.. The males tend to weight in between 8-15lbs, with large powerful pincers. Females will weigh up to 5lbs. Thier pincers are smaller. I keep crabs over 3.5-4lbs. The real secret to eating these monsters is in the cooking. I give them an hour minimum in boiling water. They will smell terrible while cooking, but the smell will change to a sweet smell when they are ready to crack. I use an old canning pot, the type used for boiling canning jars. You’ll want to scrub them down with wire bristle brushes before you cook them. To clean them, remove them from the pot and let cool water run on the bodies for a few minutes. Ready two bags, one for the good parts, the other for the guts and whatnot. First, remove the legs. You’ll have to twist them to get them off. Next, you need to remove the bottom flap on the shell. On the females, this is where the eggs are. It should be popped open with you remove them. The trick is to remove it and the piece of shell on the back of the top shell. Once this is off, you can wash out a lot of the guts. Now use a butter knife and work your way around the shell to remove the top shell. Once this comes off, you’ll have the bottom of the crab, the mantibles, gills and other gross stuff! Remove the gills and mantibles with you hands. Be careful around the mantibles, they can be sharp. You should now see the meat, which will be an off-white color. Anything yellow or beige needs to be removed. Also, some of the carpice in side can be broken off. I also break the bottom in two, making it easier to clean. Once it’s all cracked, you should have at least 1/2-1 cup of crab meat. You may have to crack the shell with a mallet. Use a dish towel to wrap the crab and give it a few whacks! You can freeze the cooked crab and use it later, or fridge it. My favorite dish is crab pasta in alfredo sauce. Use the crab, pine nuts, alfredo sauce and any style pasta. Cook the pasta, add the crab, pine nuts and sauce, mix and serve. It also goes well with any other seafood dish. Crab salad can be made, and a 8lbs male will have enough meat to feed 5 people, with left overs. This comes from catching crabs almost every weekend in the summer of 2001.

Posted by kcruise on February 23, 2003

My daughter and I loaded up early in the morning for Santa Monica Pier, our old haunt. The sky was overcast, and the tide was out. I dropped my first crab net in and set the second one up. The first pull have three spiders in the net, and the day went like that from there. We wound up with 6 total that came home, and caught at least 18. Bait of choice was chicken drumsticks, for $3.76 at Vons. One pull came up with 5 crabs in the net at once. Fishing was okay, but I spent more time crabbing. The end result of the day: Six well cooked crabs… I had called the wife and warned her what I was bringing home. Kel

Posted by gyozadude

I’ve never had a spider crab… but I’ve always wondered. How are they eating wise? The picture does give them a flattering red hue.

Posted by donblaze420

Are the Spider crabs good for eating? I have only tasted them once and it seemed as if the shells were harder to break and there was little meat. Looks like a nice day of crabbing though! Good fishing to ya.

Posted by anomaly

I think spider crab meat is quite good. Flesh is very firm. Not as sweet as Dungeness, but it has it’s own unique and distinct flavor. Only drawback is getting to the meat. The crab has to be fairly large to get any meat out of the legs since the shells are so thick. If you are fortunate to catch one, give it a try. That’s what I did, and now I’m hooked.

Posted by Anthony

What’s the best why to crack open the shell? They do taste good but the shell is just a pain that why I don’t catch them anymore.

Posted by kcruise

Cooking and preparing spiders… Okay, the question has been asked… Here’s the skinny. Spider crab is really under enjoyed by pier fishermen. Since I’ve got a ton of these beasts before, there are some tips for them. One, I don’t keep any under 4 lbs. The ones in the sink are in the 5 lbs range. Males can come in at 15+ lbs. My rule of thumb is the shell should be as big as my hand from thumb tip to the end of my pinky stretched. The other tip is cooking. My wife tried a new way last night that she got from the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. She cooked them for 20 mins, cleaned them, then cooked the legs and body for another 10-15 mins. When you clean them, the lower body where the legs attach is filled with meat. Not all of it’s in the legs! BTW, I watched the SBSC do this with spiny lobster, then grill them. Yum!! Cracking requires at least nutcrackers. A rolling pin may work. Also, a towel and a wooden mallet will work. The body can be broken easly to get the meat with a fork. Some markets sell crab crackers with picks. Good Cook is one brand. This meat can be used for anything that requires crab. A 5lbs crab should give you at least a cup of meat, provided you’re willing to work a little for it! The wife two favorites are crab salad and crab in alfredo sauce, pine nuts and noodles. Enjoy! Kel

Posted by venom242 on December 27, 2004

One quick note, if anyone cares. I personally love spider crab. The key to better taste is definitely proper cleaning. I scrub mine with a toothbrush in a bucket of water. I spent like 15 minutes getting all the crud off. Oh yeah, I also found you don't need a hammer to get most of the meat. For the legs, just break them at the joints Steven Seagal-style and the meat will usually stick to the end of the joint and should slide out. I hate getting shell bits in the meat, so I think it's worth the effort.
 
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