This is the fifth page in a series of "All About Crabs". Click HERE to see the index and page order.
OK.. so with your soon to be tasty morsels in the bucket, and safely back at camp we need to cook the crabs.
There are any number of recipes for crab, but let me tell you that the best one is the simplest..... just boil the little buggers. Sure.. Singapore chilli crab is nice, but why mask one of the most delectible flavours from the ocean, especially when you are getting them this FRESH.
The technique for boiling does vary and depends on the individual person. One way is to put them in the pot covered with the salt water you have remembered to bring back from the beach, bring it to the boil and cook for 10 mins. This has the effect of slowly torturing the crabs to death. Ways of avoiding this are to soak them in FRESH water first for 10 mins or stick them in the freezer for a while (makes them sleepy apparently).
My prefered method is to bring the water to the boil and then chuck them in.... not totally painless.. but never the less quickest. There is a DISADVANTAGE in this method. The crabs tend to chuck most of their legs off, so you end up with a heap of bodies without legs in the bottom of the pot. I see it as saving time in pulling them off afterwards :-)
Once they are cooked, they should have turned a bright red colour (about 6 or 7 minutes). Some people advocate plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process, but I have found little difference, just as long as they are not overcooked in the first place. Let them cool, and if you can resist, put them in the fridge for an hour to set...... then on with the eating.....
The series of web pages, All about Crabs, is copyright to ETWebs and used on this web site with permission.