Dressing crab - How to

Dressing crab - How to

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Cooking time

Takes about 20 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Find out how to dress crab - it's easier than you think, and the reward is delicious, fresh crabmeat

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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  • 1 whole crab, cooked

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  1. Lay the cooked crab on its back and twist off the claws and legs. Crack the claws and legs using a heavy object - but don't allow the shell to shatter into very small pieces as it will be difficult to find. Carefully remove the meat using a lobster pick or teaspoon and put it into a bowl (preferably metal). Check for stray shell by shaking the bowl from time to time – shell fragments 'ping' against the side and can be removed. Put your thumbs on the base of the body, at the back of the crab, and push upwards to release it from the carapace.
  2. Pull away and discard the lungs ('dead man's fingers') found around the main body and inside of the carapace. Press the mouth so that it snaps away from the main shell and pull away the stomach sac. Cut the body in half and scoop out further white meat – it is worth taking time over this as there is a surprising amount in all the small cavities.
  3. Scoop out the brown meat from the carapace – the quantity and quality of this will depend on the time of year. If the crab has had its shell for some time, the brown meat will be plentiful. Some people like brown meat straight from the shell, others add seasoning, a little mustard and breadcrumbs, too. White meat is great just as it is.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2007

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