Team building, cooking events, catering, parties, and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

Cooking and Serving Crab

  • 1 live crab per person
  • salt
  • Melted butter
  • Lemon, if you like

Make sure to get lively crabs, and look them over in the store, to be sure they’re not missing any large claws.  I always buy them the same day I’m serving. Make sure to refrigerate them as soon as you get them home, unless you’re cooking immediately. Fill a large pot with 3-4 inches water, and bring to a boil. Salt heavily—about 2 heaped teaspoons, you want the water to be like sea water, and carefully picking the crabs up by the “tail end” so the big claws can’t pinch you, plunge them, head first, into the pot. Cover the pot, bring back to the boil, and immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes altogether, then drain.

To clean the crabs, run them briefly under cold water. Snap the claws off.  Grab the long triangular shaped flap of carapace, and then you can pry apart the carapace from the body. Some people love the “crab butter” that will be in the carapace, others, not so much—the body can be rinsed briefly and cut into halves. I serve the carapace on the platter with the body halves and legs, and let whoever wants, have at it.

Once you’ve got the parts all cleaned, provide  a lobster cracker tool and a lobster fork  (I like the kind that have a fork on one end and a little scoop-shaped thing on the other) to each diner.  Crack each leg in several places, to make it easier to get the meat out. Cut the body in half down the middle, and pick the crab out from the cartilage.

Serve the crab with melted butter and a squeeze of lemon if you like.

Crab Louie

This is a salad you can vary any way you like it. I use boiled eggs, tomatoes, and olives as garnishes. You want a nice bed of your favorite lettuce, a big handful of  crabmeat. and the following dressing. This is ample for salad for two:

  • 1 Tbs.  finely chopped onion or shallot
  • 3 Tbs. bottled chili sauce
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • a few tablespoons heavy cream

Combine the onion, chili sauce, mayonnaise, and thin slightly with cream. Drizzle over the salad and serve.