Preparing a Cooked Crab

  1. Hold the crab firmly in one hand and give its underside a sharp thump. This helps to loosen the body and legs from the shell.
  2. Stand the crab on its head and, pushing against the underbody with your thumbs, lever away the back end of the shell with your fingers.
  3. Pull the underbody and the legs away from the shell.
  4. Remove and discard the grey-white stomach sac which lies behind the head in the shell.
  5. You should also discard the grey feathered gills (known as dead men's fingers) which lie on either side of the body.
  6. Using a spoon, scoop out the brown creamy meat from inside the shell, placing it aside in a bowl until later.
  7. Twist off all the legs and claws and crack them open with a hammer, lobster cracker or nutcracker to extract the white meat.
  8. Make two cuts in the body; one on either side of the bony central peak. These two cuts should form a V shape at the peak of the body. This divided the body into three; discard the middle part as it does not contain any meat.
  9. Using a skewer dig out the white meat from the two outer pieces of the body.
  10. Scrub the inside of the shell thoroughly under cold water, dry it, and then brush with oil.
  11. Return the meat to the shell, placing the brown meat in the centre, with the white meat around it.