Of all the crustaceans, crab is perhaps the most popular. It is available in many forms, be it pate, soup, claws, dressed crab or simply as shredded meat, which makes it extremely versatile and offers lots of different culinary opportunities.
All this makes crab fishing a big business, but it can also be a somewhat tricky one. It’s not just that the boats often have to go out in cold weather and rough seas, using big nets that can pose hazards to users, but things can be tricky when the crabs are landed.
While a love crab may give a nasty nip, crews have to be very wary of any that get killed on the spot, such as through a heavy impact when they land on deck. A crab needs to be cleaned before it is killed, because otherwise toxins will run through its body and ruin the meat.
This is distinct from dressing, which is done after killing it and involves removing internal organs (just as one guts a fish), before taking the different meat out. This consists of the brown meat (this is the sort you get in pate but it can be eaten separately) and white meat, which has a different flavour. These differences are part of the great appeal of crab, making it so versatile as a food source.
The good news, of course, is that when you get a fresh crab delivery from us, it will already have been cleaned, dressed and kept in ice to ensure the meat is in perfect condition ready for a tasty seafood meal.
Once you have your dressed crab, the range of options you have is broad. While crab pate is good for a buffet and crab claws are a slightly messy finger food, a dressed crab can be eaten hot or cold, and with a wide array of condiments.
This could include simple things like lemon juice or a bit of mayonnaise. It could be combined with a salad, either alone or as part of seafood medley with prawns, squid or fish.
Alternatively, if you simply want a delivery of fresh crab meat out of the shell, there is a vast array of dishes you could go for. Some of them might be traditional seafood meals, such as adding crab to pasta (crab linguine and samphire pasta are two common examples), a risotto, soup or noodles.
However, you can also go for something novel, like crab meat on toast with soft boiled eggs, crab and avocado tortillas, or it can be used as a substitute for other meat - like a crab pasty.
Indeed, crab meat could be used in quiches and tarts, stir fries, or in a Sri Lankan-style curry.
The sheer adaptability of crab is what makes it one of the best kinds of seafood around. With two flavours of meat, so many ways to serve it and the fact you can have it on its own or alongside other seafood means it really is a perfect choice to have on your table.