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Crabs are always best caught fresh, cooked and eaten in season, when there is nothing better than sucking the juicy sweet flesh out of a meaty claw fresh from the pot!
Learning how to cook fresh crab, from how to dress a crab and cook a crab at its simplest unlocks an expansive range of dishes from a dressed crab salad to a rich and tasty crab curry, highlighted by some of the world's leading restaurants.
At The ministry of Crab restaurant in Colombo, Sri Lanka (#29 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list) chef Dharshan Munidasa showcases the signature lagoon crab in simple dishes like chilli crab. Trishna in Mumbai in India showcases the soft shell crab wiht such style it was recognised in the shortlist of the inaugural edition of the World Restaurant Awards for it's signature dish, garlic crab.
There are over a staggering 4000 varieties of crab around the world, from the 25lb Alsaskan king crab to the spindly-legged spider crab and fleshey, Dungeness and blue crab, meaning there's alot to learn about this crustacean in out tips and recipes.
When is Crab Season?
Crab seasons vary depending on their location and variety.
In the UK it's generally April to November while in the US it's January to October when crab population are often at their largest and populations are highest after spawning. While in some US states, like Florida and South Carolina, crab season is year-round.
Steamed crab meat is low in fat and contains just 82 calories per 3-ounce serving as well as being a good source of protein, minerals and vitamins.
How to Clean Crab
Learning how to pick a crab clean and access the sweet flesh inside the shell can be intimidating. ChefSteps take out the fear factor in this easy to follow clip below:
How to Cook Crab
Crab can be cooked in any number of ways. They can be boiled, steamed, roasted or grilled.
If you roast or grill them, they should first be par cooked and finished off in the oven or on the grill to ensure they are fully cooked and not over cooked.
How to Dress a Crab
Learn how to dress a crab for a simple way of showcasing the delicate flesh in this summer classic. Discover more here.
Crab Cake Recipe
Crab cakes are a very popular way to enjoy crab - they make the flesh go further, and turn crab into a satisfying comfort dish. There are various recipes. Find the crab cakes recipe here.
This crispy dumpling appetiser is a popular dish in the US - not hard to see why with its crispy exterior and delicate crab and cheese interior.
Try this recipe for crab rangoon below:
Did you know that Crab Rangoon was ranked the second most popular dish on Chinese-American restaurant menus? It’s easy to make at home, and a great app for game day! 🥡 Hit SAVE to keep the full recipe below, and visit the link in my profile for airfryer and oven instructions for alternatives to deep frying. ⬇️ INGREDIENTS: - 8 ounces block-style cream cheese, softened - 6 ounces crabmeat (1 cup), picked over for cartilage and drained well - 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil - 1 teaspoon light soy sauce - 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce - 1/4 cup thinly-sliced scallions pinch ground white pepper - 36 wonton wrappers - vegetable oil or peanut oil, for frying - sweet and sour sauce, duck sauce, plum sauce, or Chinese hot mustard, for dipping INSTRUCTIONS: 1. In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, sesame oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ground white pepper. Fold in scallions and crabmeat. 2. Place 1-1/2 teaspoons filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Do not overfill. Lightly dampen the perimeter of the wrapper with water or egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water). 3. Fold the bottom left corner up over the filling to meet the top right corner. Fold the two remaining corners toward the center to make a little wonton purse. Be sure to press out any air surrounding the filling and press all of the edges together firmly to seal. 4. Keep the stack of wonton wrappers and the folded wontons covered with a lightly-dampened towel while working. 5. Heat vegetable oil to 350-360 degrees F in a large, deep pot. Fry wontons in small batches (4-6 at a time), being sure not to crowd the pan. Move them around with a slotted spoon or a spider strainer and fry until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. 6. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, like sweet and sour sauce (recipe on Striped Spatula), duck sauce, plum sauce, or hot mustard. https://stripedspatula.com/crab-rangoon-recipe/
Cornish Crab, kohlrabi and seaweed recipe with a crab viniagrette
British chef and seafood fan, Nathan Outlaw from two Michelin starred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall's Port Isaac makes a fresh and simple crab dish.
Fresh crab with madadamias and pink pepper
Deep fried soft shell crab
Indian chef Atul Kochar cooks deep fried soft shell crab with a gentle spiced background (the easiest and most stunning recipe he's ever made!) with mayonnaise.
Crab cooked in three ways by Mikael Jonsson
Meanwhile, chef Mikael Jönsson prepares a warm crab dish of three different kinds of crab meat at Hedone in London, with an avocado cream and a pistachio mayonnaise (with cooked duck egg whites and pistachio oil) and a mandarin puree.
Fresh Crab Salad
Michelin star chef Richard Davies from the Bybrook restaurant at the Manor House in Castle Coombe creates a stunning fresh crab salad recipe with his own twist with chili and pineapple.
Gordon Ramsay cooks King Crab
And last but not least, we had to show this video of Ramsay tackling the might of the monster king crab in Norway, first by catching it and then cooking up its tasty legs in seawater, served with a creme fraiche mayonnaise.