Wednesday Wonders: How Do You Clean A Blue Crab?

First of all, in South Carolina you shouldn't keep any blue crabs sized less than 5 inches, point to point, it's the law! Second of all, it's no easy task to get the meat out of these little suckers, which is why I volunteer to cook and not "pick the meat". Smart girl, you say!?! The crab picking duties go to Jason, my mom, his mom and any one else up for the challenge. To get the meat out of the blue crabs you need to clean and prep the crabs first. Here's the cleaning process:

1. Cook the crabs in boiling water. Let Cool.

2. Rinse the cooked crabs to remove any remaining sand or grit.

3. Over the sink, remove the two large claws. Set aside.

4. Remove all other remaining legs and throw away.

5. Pop off the hard outer shell of the body. Throw the shell away.

6. Now for the yucky part, remove the inner guts from the meaty muscle. This is best done over the sink while the water runs. If its yellow, orange, green or grey, you don't want it. Rinse and pitch! Set the white, meaty body aside.

7. At this point, you can either freeze bags of claws and bodies and then thaw when you are ready to pick the meat and cook. Or, you can begin to pick: get the large claws and meaty bodies. Using the meat crackers and picks, began removing the meat. Place meat in a bowl and refrigerate.

Remember, this crab meat is fresh without any preservatives, so you'll want to cook and eat it within a day or two.

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