To kill the crab, turn it over and lift up the small pointed flap – you will see a small hole. With some force, insert a sturdy knife or screwdriver into the hole until you feel it touch the other side of the shell. Turn the crab back over and drain the liquid that will run out.
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil – use 30g of salt per litre of water
2. Place the crab in the boiling water to cook – a 1kg crab should take 8–10 minutes
3. Remove the crab from the water and leave to cool before preparing. Do not put the crab into iced water as this will cause it to become waterlogged
Crab is often dressed with mayonnaise and lemon juice and served with bread and butter. Dressed crab is a great addition to salads and sandwiches too.
White crab meat is beautifully light and sweet and complements a host of fresh spring and summer flavours such as cucumber, tomato and mackerel. The white meat also works brilliantly in crab cakes – Shaun Rankin looks to Asia with his Crispy crab, sweetcorn and coriander fritters while Vineet Bhatia has created a South Indian crab cake with crab chutney.
Combining the sweet white meat with the richer brown meat can produce luscious results – have a go at Marcus Wareing’s Crab Benedict. In Nigel Haworth’s dish, he batters and deep fries crab claws and makes ‘crab balls’ out of the brown meat – a great way to show off the whole crab. For a dinner party snack with a difference, why not whip up a batch of Andrew Mackenzie’s Crab sticks; they are an easy yet impressive nibble.