The hefty crab I bought - right in the picture - had already been cooked by the fishmonger and if you are a little squeamish, this probably the best way to buy it. Preparing the crab (dressing) after cooking is very easy.
- Place the crab on its back onto a large chopping board and snap off the tail flap, legs and claws. With a fresh crab this should be very easy.
- Carefully push a chef's knife or large knife between the shell and the body of the crab, twist and the shell should open.
- Inside you will see the 'dead man's fingers' (off-white spongy gills) which must be removed. Then remove the stomach sac and hard membranes inside the shell.
- Using a teaspoon scoop out the brown meat, place in a small bowl and mash gently with a fork.
- Remove any white meat, you will need to root around in the nooks and crannies to find it all. Keep to one side.
- Crack each of the legs and claws and pick out all the meat. Once removed check through the meat to make sure there are no splinters of shell.
- Return the brown meat to the centre if the shell and the white meat to each side. Serve with mayonnaise, brown bread, a wedge of lemon and a little finely chopped parsley if liked.
- Keep a good supply of kitchen paper at hand for mopping up any crab juices.
- Make sure any knives used are strong and sharp.
- Clean down all surfaces thoroughly when finished.
- Prepared crab should be kept chilled, crab meat spoils very easily and quickly.
What You Need
- Large, fresh, cooked crab.
- Tea towels and paper towels.
- A chopping board.
- Sharp, strong kitchen knife.
- Crab crackers or a lightweight toffee hammer.
- Bowls for the brown and white meat.