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Like other seafood, cooking crab can cause anxiety in many people who have never prepared it before. Luckily, if they are willing to try, they soon learn that it is not difficult at all. You can find this out too if you are willing to take the leap. Cooking crab of all kinds is pretty similar. It does not matter if you pick out fresh Dungeness, King crab, snow crab, or rock crab; they all cook in a similar fashion.

You should buy crab either live or frozen. Thawed, dead crab spoils extremely fast, so if this is all that is available, you should pass. Since Dungeness crabs are one of the specialties you will find in Los Angeles seafood markets, it is a safe bet that you will find them available while they are in season.

Cooking and Cleaning

You can steam, boil, broil, or grill a crab. If you have live crabs, drop them head first into boiling water for just a few minutes to start the cooking process. Remove if you are not using boiling as your cooking method. This allows you to clean the crab before you cook. Once the crab has been dispatched, you can remove the head, scrape out the gills, and remove the apron on the belly. This is the pointed flap that starts at the base of the crab and points up the belly. After this, you can rinse the crab and finish cooking.

Boiling is the most common way to cook a crab. You can add seasonings, broth, wine or other ingredients to the boiling water to add extra flavor to the crab. If you just like crab, the way it is naturally, simple water with added salt will be sufficient.

How Long to Cook Dungeness Crab

A Dungeness crab needs to boil for 12 to 15 minutes to be done. The meat should be opaque, and the top of the shell and the legs will turn red. Take the cooked crab out of the water and let it drain. Once it is cool enough to handle, you can pick the meat out.

If your guests are going to enjoy picking their own meat, set the crabs on ice to stop the cooking process and let them cool.

How to Cook Dungeness Crab

Picking the Meat

A mallet, nutcracker, and shrimp fork will be your best friends when you begin picking crabmeat. Twist the legs and they will come off easily. You can use a kitchen shears to cut the shell on one side of each leg segment or you can use a nutcracker to crack the shell so you can use the shrimp fork to pick out the large pieces of meat.

The main body of the crab holds a lot of meat that is segmented into various little “cubicles.” Break the body in half and start pulling out the meat. When you come to a wall between meat lumps, you can break through them with your fingers or you can gently tap it with the mallet to crack them. Kitchen shears work also to get through these thin barriers.

Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 01-10-16

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine. I am happy you are visiting today. Food is very important to everyone, and in this family we love to eat all kinds of dishes from meat and chicken to international cuisine, crockpot creations and more. Seafood is something we also love, and I love the fact it is nutritious as well as very tasty.

Everyone knows 'the big three' which are cod, tuna and salmon, but sometimes it is fun to try different types of fish, such as perch, trout, monkfish, or even shellfish like mussels or clams. There are seafood recipes for every season and occasion, those served chilled for a refreshing burst of flavor, and those served hot in stew or soup form.

Choose from crispy fried fish, tender pan-fried or poached cuts, or what about a seafood medley boasting the most wonderful flavors of the sea, lake or river? Seafood can be served as part of a salad or savory dish, or it can be served as an appetizer or snack. Bacon-wrapped scallops, anyone? You will find a comprehensive collection of wonderful seafood recipes right here, for your inspiration and enjoyment.

Thanks for visiting,