How to dress a crab
Buying a whole crab from the fishmonger is often much cheaper that getting it pre-dressed. But if you’ve never tried it before, the idea of preparing a crab can be a bit daunting. With the help of Clive’s simple step-by-step guide you can now try it at home.
- Wipe the crab well with a damp cloth.
- Remove the claws by twisting them away from the body and put to one side.
- Pull the legs back and remove by twisting gently, place to one side.
- Use your thumbs to press the purse away from the body until it comes loose. Remove any gills (sometimes called dead man’s fingers) from the purse. These have a bitter taste so should be discarded.
- Cut the purse in half using a large knife. Use a small pick or skewer to scrape out any dark meat. Place all the meat in a bowl.
- Scrape out any white meat from the purse, being careful not to include any bits of shell. Place the white meat in a separate bowl.
- Use crackers to break the two halves of the purse again, remove any remaining white meat and put in the bowl.
- Clean the outside of the crab shell with a damp cloth again and remove the brown stomach sack from inside. This is not edible so should be discarded.
- Remove the inner shell by placing a spoon on the inside of the shell and twisting it gently. Repeat on the other end. Scrape out any dark meat and add to the bowl of meat.
- Gently press the legs with the handle of a knife (or similar) to crack them and use the pick to scrape out the white meat. Continue until all the meat is removed from the legs.
- Place the claws on a flat surface and use the handle of a knife or crackers to break them. Remove the white meat using the pick. Make sure you remove the piece of cartilage between the claws.
- Beat the dark meat lightly with a spoon until smooth then place into the shell. Flake the white meat and place on top of the dark meat in the shell. Add a sprig of dill and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!