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How Prepare A Whole Fresh Crab

How Prepare A Whole Fresh Crab

How to prepare a whole fresh crab: Renowned Italian chef Massimo Tagliaferri shows us how to prepare a whole fresh crab, and serve the crab with crostini, lemon, olive oil and herbs. Learn how to prepare a whole fresh crab.


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200° c  -  390° f

Step 1: You will need

  • 1 large crab
  • 12 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 lemons
  • some chopped parsley and basil
  • 6 slices of crostini
  • some salt
  • 1 sharp kitchen knife
  • 1 hammer
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 cloth
  • mixing bowls

Step 2: Boil the crab

Boil the crab for approximately 20 minutes per kilogram. Whenever possible you should boil crab while it's still alive. This is because the meat starts to shrink after the crab is dead. After the crab is cooked, cool it in a fridge or ice water.

Step 3: Remove head, legs and claws

Pull the head, legs and claws off the crab. Break the legs at the knuckles. Smash the legs and claws with a hammer to break the shell.

TOP TIP: Smash the legs under a cloth to prevent debris from scattering.

Step 4: Remove white meat

Use your fingers to remove all the white crab meat from the legs and claws. Check that there are no pieces of shell in the meat.

Step 5: Remove brown meat

Keeping it separate from the white meat, remove the brown meat from the main body of the crab. Chop the fresh crab's carcass into pieces to gain access to hard-to-reach areas. Use a spoon to scoop the meat out. Pass the brown meat through a sieve to remove debris. Pick out the gills and any pieces of shell.

Step 6: Dress the meat

Dress the white and brown meat separately. This recipe shows you how to make one starter-size portion of crab, but you can multiply these amounts by six and prepare the whole fresh crab at once. To dress the white meat, use approximately one-sixth of the cooked white meat per portion. To each portion add a pinch of salt, a pinch of chopped parsley and basil, the juice of half a lemon and one teaspoon of olive oil. Prepare each portion of brown meat in the same way, but don't add lemon juice as this will make the mixture too liquid.

Step 7: Serve

Serve two tablespoons of each meat on a plate with a crostini. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and half a lemon.