How to prepare (and eat) Cornish crab

How to prepare (and eat) Cornish crab

We know that there's nothing like fresh crab and buying it straight from the boat knocks socks off of anything brought from a supermarket, however preparing it can cause a certain amount of trepidation. Have no fear! Here's a fail-safe way to cook your crustacean with panache.

Fresh and sweet Cornish crab is a lush taste of the sea. If you’ve grabbed your crab from the fishmonger or harbour front and have got little Mr Pinchy home here’s what you need to do with him, stand aside Nigella.

Kit and Caboodle

·         Pan of boiling water

·         Freezer

·         Rolling pin / hammer

·         Teaspoon / crab pick



1.  Put your crab in the freezer for about one hour. This makes the crab sleepy and        is the most humane way of preparing a crab.

2.  In a large pan boil salted water to a rolling boil.  Take the crab out of the freezer        and place into the pan. Bring the water back to the boil.

3.  Cook for 20 minutes.

4.  Remove the crab and leave to cool

5.  Break away the claws and the legs from the body. Put the body to one side.

6.  The claw is in three sections. Break off section one (the part closest to the body).      Place remainder of claw on a hard surface, for example a cutting board. Give the      claw a sharp tap with a rolling pin/small hammer to crack the shell.

7.  Pull section two and three apart and using the handle of a teaspoon ease the            meat away from the shell into a bowl. Repeat for section one. Be careful so as          not to break the thin cartilage of the claw into the crab meat.

8.  Follow a similar pattern for the legs.

9.  Prize the crab shell away from the body. Within the crab shell, lies the brown              meat. Drain water from shell (if any) and scoop the brown meat into a bowl. Mix        the brown meat around with a fork into a paste.

10.Remove grey gills from the body and discard. Carefully tease the white meat from      the leg cavities and body comb.

11.Chill the crab meat before eating.

Feeling inspired? Stay in one of our luxury cottages in Cornwall and get cooking!


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