Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Boiled Dungeness Crab

cooked dungeness crab (Seattle, 2015)
I eat many crabs in my lifetime. However, I have to say the dungeness crab is probably by far the largest crab that I have ever eaten. They look similar to Maine crab but are 2-3 times larger. The meat tastes equally sweet. If you want to eat good crab it is best to buy it fresh and then boil it whole. I start by boiling a pot of water first. Once the water reaches the boiling point I drop the crab in and slightly cover the pot. I boiled my 2.5 pound crab for just 10 minutes and it was perfectly cooked. After boiling I remove the crab and let it cool down a little before handling it. Grab the shell body and gently tug it away from the belly and legs. The buttery liver (or tamalley) on the inside of crab shell has a high concentration of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP); so you may want to discard this part. To learn more about PSP please check out this link: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/BiotoxinsIllnessPrevention/Biotoxins/ParalyticShellfishPoison. Having said this I know plenty of people who have eaten the tomalley and I have not encountered anyone with symptoms, although I would not advocate to continue eating this toxin. Remove and discard the soft spongy gills, along the sides of the body. If you ate a piece by mistake it probably will not be too fatal! I normally take a sharp knife and cut the body into quarters in order to help remove the meat easily. I use a nutcracker on the legs and claws to help remove the flesh. It is effortless to get to the meat on these crabs and less time-consuming to eat due to their size. The meat is so sweet you really do not need any dipping sauce. However, if you do prefer one it is best to find one that is not so overpowering in taste.

live dungeness crab (Seattle, 2015)

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