If you’re searching to learn how to prepare fresh, whole crab or lobster with a minimum of fuss or emergency googling, you’ve come to the right place! Read on for Zyliss' guide, and to find out about our selection of Zyliss Seafood Tools.
Preparing a crab yourself is much cheaper than buying prepared meat, and usually tastes far better. If you’re cooking your crab at home, you should bring a large pan of salted water to the stove and simmering the whole crab for approximately 12 minutes per kilogram. It’s best to work out how long your crab needs in advance, to avoid confusion! Once it’s done, leave it to cool for a while in the water. Then, transfer it to a plate and cool it completely in the fridge. The meat is far easier to get at when the crab is completely cooled.
After that, you’ll want to lay the crab out on a large chopping board (we recommend the Zyliss Comfort Cutting Board). You’ll then need a couple of bowls, a large sharp knife (Zyliss Comfort Pro Knives will excel here) and a pair of Zyliss Seafood Picks. For removing parts or cracking the crab’s shell, you’ll need either a blunt, heavy object like a rolling pin or a pair of Zyliss Seafood Scissors.
First, twist off the legs and claws and set them to one side. Then, from the front with your thumbs, push the crab’s body away from its hard carapace. This should expose the main part of the quality crabmeat, as well as displaying the “dead man’s fingers” – the crab’s feathery gills – which should be removed.
With a teaspoon, spoon out the meat in the crab’s shell into one of your bowls. This is called the “brown meat”, and is fatty and richly flavored. Next, use your large knife to carefully cut the crab’s softer body in half. Then, use your seafood pick to get every last morsel of the “white” meat out of each half, adding it to your other bowl.
Twist the legs back on themselves at the middle joint to expose more white meat inside, which you should remove with a pick. Do the same to the arms, discarding the cartilage from the middle of the arms and legs, before carefully cracking the claws either with a heavy object or the claw-cracker function of the Zyliss Seafood Scissors. Remove the last of the meat. Check both bowls for pieces of shell before you use the meat, then carry on with your recipe.
When cooking a lobster, carefully kill it beforehand with a sturdy kitchen knife. You’ll want to push the blade hard through the cross on the back of its head. Then, drop the lobster into a pan of boiling water, cooking for approximately four minutes until the shell turns a bright red. You can also barbecue lobster, which takes about eight minutes and produces a delicious smoky flavor.
After cooking, leave to cool on a chopping board before twisting off the tail and claws. Bend the tail back on itself to loosen the connective tissue, before cutting through the underside with a pair of kitchen scissors. Pull the tail apart and extract the meat. If you’re lucky, it should come away in one piece!
Make sure to wipe away any green tomalley. It’s the remnants of the lobster’s liver and pancreas, which tend to accumulate any pollutants or toxins it was exposed to while it was alive. Finally, break apart the claws with a heavy object or your shears, removing the meat with a seafood pin.
In this age of reducing food waste, some might like to extract the meat from each leg as well. It’s still good to eat, and only requires a little more skillful use of a seafood pin.
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