Got Crabs?

It was a rainy and dreary Thursday that left us trapped in a soggy, overly saturated Bosco. Well, inside wasn’t too bad, but we really couldn’t go anywhere or do much of anything productive. Neither of us had motivation beyond simple, mundane tasks until around midday when the storms abated for a few minutes. Jake decided to try fishing.

We bought a whole bunch of lures and fishing gadgets a couple weeks ago. We also bought live bait, and had a lot of success catching croaker (sp?), trout and even a crab. But the live bait ran out and all we had left were the fake shrimp, squid, fish bait that are best used when trawling, or moving through the water. Not the greatest for sitting still at a dock.

After about an hour with no takers, he decided to drive into town to pick up some live bait. There was no shrimp, but he got the next best thing, pieces of haddock. Within a few minutes of fishing with live bait on, he had a lot of action. Unfortunately none of the little munchers got hooked but did manage to steal the bait. At least we know its working.

Jake decided to set up a slightly different rig, this time tying the line directly to a winch, rather than on the rod. This way he can just yank up the line quickly and easily, instead of reeling it in. Figured it’d be a lot easier. After another 15-20 minutes, he noticed tugging on the line. He yanked it up and saw a crab at the end. He quickly dumped it into the bucket sitting on the swim platform. I came over to take a couple of photos of the crab, and saw that there were two of them scuttling around in the bucket – he didn’t even realize he got two!

So the first part was easy enough – catch some crabs. The next part was a little more difficult…Neither of us had any clue how to cook live crab. After some googling and You Tube videos, we learned three different ways to approach it:
1. clean them alive (which seemed scary).
2. put them in ice water, which basically puts them to sleep, then clean them.
3. Put the live crab in water and boil them and clean them as you eat them.

Cleaning a crab isn’t too complicated – you remove the shells on top (the cap) and the bottom (the apron). Then you pull off the bladders that surround the meaty part, which are sort of like lungs (more like filters) and then hose out the innards down the middle. Some people pull off the two big claws to cook separately, or you can leave those on. Then you set aside on ice or cook right away.

We decided to go with option 3 since it seemed the quickest / easiest. Supposedly this retains the flavors better than the other options, but requires more work to eat.

Jake concocted a Caribbean Jerk and Beer bath then added enough water to completely saturate the crabs. The tricky part is getting the crabs in the pot. I suppose experienced crabbers just grab their legs but we used tongs to grab them, since their vicious little claws were snapping. Once in the bath, we boiled them for about 10 minutes covered, and then waalaa…delicious crab-feast. Actually two crabs isn’t much of a feast. More of a snack for one. Once everything is cleaned out there’s not much meat left. Seeing that its so much effort to catch, clean and cook crab, we probably won’t go through the effort unless we get five or six. Either way, it is really satisfying to be self-sufficient.

mmmmmm…..Carolina Blue Crab Feast!

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One comment

  1. I love blue crabs. They are very tasty as crab cakes too

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