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How to remove meat from a crab

12 May 2015

How to remove meat from a crab

There are two types of meat found in a crab, white and brown. The milder white meat is found in the claws and the body of the crab and the richer brown meat in the main shell.

Once the crab is cooked, remove from the water and allow to cool completely.


Lay the crab on its back and twist off the legs and claws
Holding firmly on to the shell, push the body section out with your thumbs
Pull off the ‘dead man’s fingers’ – these are tough and inedible and should be discarded
Scoop out the brown meat from the shell and reserve
Cut the body section in half (try not to shatter the cartilage when doing this as it will be difficult to remove later) and, using a small spoon or lobster pick, carefully remove the white meat
Crack open the legs and pull out the meat with a lobster pick
Twist apart the claw sections then break the claws with the end of a heavy knife (when doing this, try to use just enough pressure to crack the shell not smash it into pieces as this will reduce the likelihood of bits of shell making their way into the dish). Remove the meat with a spoon or lobster pick.
Finally, pick through the crab to check for any stray shell. You may want to do this a number of times to be completely sure you don’t get a nasty shock when eating the crab!

Serving suggestions

Have a go at this technique and use the crab meat as part of a Dominic Chapman's crab ravioli with crab sauce or Theo Randall's Crab salad, Marcus Wareing’s Crab benedict or Simon Hulstone’s Crab risotto.

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