26 JULY 2011
The crab must rank as one of the kings of the sea. More interesting than his crustacean counterpart, the lobster, crabs are less expensive and arguably more flavoursome by a long shot.
The pincer sporting creatures are a firm favourite in professional kitchens, their brown and white meats providing different flavour and textural experiences. And that is just the traditional brown crab we find commonly in our fishmongers and supermarkets.
Search a bit further afield and you’ll come upon swimmer crabs, a South-East Asian favourite, flat and bright blue and white, or softshell crabs, deep-fried in a crisp batter and eaten as they are, preferably with a glossy, citrus-laced mayonnaise. You’ll find spider crabs cooked up too – their unusual alien shells often used for decoration. The Dungeness variety is popular in America as is the Alaskan King crab – the legs are often nearly a foot long. Maryland crab cakes are a longstanding US favourite and for good, delicious reason.
If you’re about squeamish about cooking them yourself, buy a ‘dressed’ crab from your fishmonger or pick up a tub of crab meat from your supermarket and get cooking.