Recipes @ Picking Steamed Crabs 101

Search This Blog

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Picking Steamed Crabs 101

Perhaps nothing is as iconic to the Chesapeake Bay region of the United States as steamed hard-shell blue crabs. Summer in Maryland wouldn't be complete with sampling a few steamed crabs. If you've never learned to pick a crab before, here's the 101 Guide to Picking a Crab:

  1. Let the crabs cool slightly before you handle them. Dump them onto sheets of brown paper or newspaper. Begin by breaking off the pincer claws and legs, and set them aside. Place the crab on its back, and insert the tip of a paring knife into the “apron,” the flap on the underside of the shell. Pull it up and back to pry off the shell. Next, pull out the gills and the “dead man” or "devil," the spongy matter surrounding the gills.
  2. Fold the shell inward, and crack it in half. Cracking it inward, rather than outward, makes removing the meat easier. After pulling out the white top meat with your fingers, pull back on the back fin (it looks like a lump) near the back of the shell. This meat is particularly delicious.
  3. Save the claws for last. Insert knife about a third of the way into the softish white joint, then twist to separate the claws into two pieces. Use a wooden mallet to crack the shells.
To see a step-by-step video demonstration of this process, visit the Web site of Obrycki's Crab House in Baltimore, Maryland, at

No comments:

Post a Comment