09 October 2008

It's Time to Eat Crab

The best time to eat crab is Autumn, from September to November. Now, crab is selled in the market. How to choose the best crab that is delicious? How to cook crab?How to eat crab?

How to Buy Fresh Crab?
Never buy (or cook) a live crab unless it’s still alive and vigorous, with its limbs still moving. The best way to see whether a crab is still moving its limbs is to lift it—hold the crab by the rear end to avoid the its pincers, especially if it is large. Note that crab pincers, unlike lobster pincers, are seldom secured by rubber bands. If you’re uncomfortable about lifting the crab yourself, ask the person selling the crab to you to do it. If the crab’s legs hang slack when lifted, don’t buy it.

How to cook crab?
Crab is delicious cold or hot. It can be cooked whole and served as a main dish, or it can be bought cooked, canned, or frozen. From there, it can be prepared in any number of ways and used to make hors d’oeuvres, salads, sandwiches, soups, and omelets. It’s also tasty in sauces and pasta dishes. Crab can be used to replace shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish in most recipes.

Steaming is the traditional way of cooking blue crabs around Chesapeake Bay, the region with which they’re most closely associated. Other crabs can also be steamed.

Cook raw crabs by boiling - 20 minutes for crabs up to 1kg and 10 minutes per kg after that. Allow the crab to cool and then twist off the claws and legs. Knock the underside of the body on the chopping board and push your thumbs on the crab's back to prise the body section away from the shell. Remove and discard the stomach sac (just behind the mouth) and the soft gills (dead man's fingers) - these are readily identifiable and will come away easily. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the brown meat from inside the shell, not forgetting the crevices where the claws and legs join the body. Crack the legs and claws with a rolling pin or nutcracker and prise out the white meat using a skewer.

How to eat crab?
There are several steps for eating crabs:
1.Remove the crab’s legs and pincers by holding them at the base near the body of the crab and gently twisting them.
2.Once you’ve removed the legs, open them with a nutcracker or other heavy utensil to remove the flesh inside.
3.Unfold the tail from underneath the crab (it looks like a little tab tucked up against the crab’s underbelly), and twist it until it breaks off. Throw it away.
4.Remove the plastron (the underside) by putting your thumb against the edge of the shell at the spot where you twisted off the crab’s tail. Set aside the plastron once you’ve removed it.
5.Remove the flesh from inside the shell with a fork. Discard the entrails and appendix, which are located behind the mouth. Some recipes call for crab to be served in its own shell. If that’s the case, be careful not to damage the shell when removing it.
6.Cut the plastron in half with a kitchen knife. You may also be able to just break it in half using your hands.
7.Use a fork to remove the flesh from the alveoli (cavities) located within the plastron.

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