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Mucho Bocho
05-03-2013, 02:58 PM
I'm thinking about getting into some blue crabs these this weekend. I've cooked crabs many times before and know Old bay and Beer is traditional. Does anybody do something else interesting to do with them? The crabs were very snappy. I guess the males are more desirable than females (some things never change LOL). Does anybody know how to tell them males from the females? Something to do with their rear flipper-feet?

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/photo1-2.jpg (http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/dennismpintoii/media/photo1-2.jpg.html)

Jmadams13
05-03-2013, 03:07 PM
Growing up in Baltimore (dundulk) to be exact, I can't really say anything else than traditional steamed with old bay, or my grandma used to make amazing fried hardcrabs. Lots of work, but worth it

Mucho Bocho
05-03-2013, 03:14 PM
Yea I'm probably overthinking the issue. Trying to engineer a better mouse trap. I always have to things the hard way. Do the Chinese/japanese eat Crabs? I bet there's a Vietnimese recipe out there/

Whats the deal with fried Hard-Crab. I'm originally from Boston and thats a new one to me? Is it just like frying chicken?

xuz
05-03-2013, 03:20 PM
Growing up in San Francisco, I used to drop into the Chinese district for some meals. They have this dish with whole crabs and ginger and bok choy (oyster sauce depending on the place). If you find the right place, it is quite awesome.
Something like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ThY2JvNnZY

Might wanna try it for the kicks if you are leaning toward the Asian persuasion for the night.

toddnmd
05-03-2013, 03:21 PM
For males and females, you look at the underside. There's that piece of white shell running up the middle that's used as a "pull-tab." If it's long and thin, it's a male. If it's more of a triangular shape, it's a female. (Here in the DC area, it's Washington Monument for male, Capitol Building for females.)

Enjoy! Blue crabs are my favorite food! Love to sit around with family and/or friends and eat them for hours, along with some good beer! And fresh corn on the cob is great, too!

xuz
05-03-2013, 03:23 PM
Also, if you get one with soft shell or a baby crab you can try the soft shell crab Tempura.
If you get a crab that hasn't auto-digested and is full of meat, these soft shell crab tempuras are absolutely delicious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbgGor-Yviw

mhlee
05-03-2013, 03:23 PM
I'm thinking about getting into some blue crabs these this weekend. I've cooked crabs many times before and know Old bay and Beer is traditional. Does anybody do something else interesting to do with them? The crabs were very snappy. I guess the males are more desirable than females (some things never change LOL). Does anybody know how to tell them males from the females? Something to do with their rear flipper-feet?

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/photo1-2.jpg (http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/dennismpintoii/media/photo1-2.jpg.html)

Look at the undercarriage. If the undercarriage flap is wide, it's a female; (eggs are held under the wide flap). If it's narrow, it's a male.

I don't know about the males being preferable. I know a lot of Asian cultures prefer the females because of the eggs.

I've done them plain in heavily salted water, and sometimes include a sheet of konbu in it. I've also done them New Orleans style using a mixture of liquid crab/crawfish boil and dry, with added lemons, onions, cloves of garlic, etc. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe because I've always done it to taste depending on the amount of water. But, I recommend Zatarain's concentrated crab boil - it's a good starting point.

toddnmd
05-03-2013, 03:26 PM
And Old Bay is the way to go!

(I zoomed in on the pic a bit--the only two I could see clearly were females. The place should tell you if you ask. In MD, the males are called Jimmies.)

Mucho Bocho
05-03-2013, 03:36 PM
thanks for everybodys feedback. I think I'm going to try the butter/ginger wok fry technique. thats a new one. sounds good, maybe a little crushed red pepper and some shaoling wine too?

mhlee
05-03-2013, 03:45 PM
Yea I'm probably overthinking the issue. Trying to engineer a better mouse trap. I always have to things the hard way. Do the Chinese/japanese eat Crabs? I bet there's a Vietnimese recipe out there/

Whats the deal with fried Hard-Crab. I'm originally from Boston and thats a new one to me? Is it just like frying chicken?

Chinese and Japanese people both prize crabs. Shanghai Hairy Crabs are considered a delicacy by the Chinese; Japanese prize snow crabs, but eat all different species of crabs, including King crabs.

If you go to any good Chinese seafood restaurant, you'll see a variety of crabs ranging from King crabs, Spider crabs, Ghost crabs, Dungeness crabs, etc.

The fried hard crab technique that I'm familiar with is a Chinese technique where a live crab is chopped up, lightly battered or floured, and par-fried. It's then wok fried with aromatics.

A very famous Vietnamese crab dish here in California is the garlic butter crab served by Thanh Long (SF) and Crustacean (various locations). The recipe is a secret, but you should be able to find variations of it.

mhlee
05-03-2013, 03:47 PM
thanks for everybodys feedback. I think I'm going to try the butter/ginger wok fry technique. thats a new one. sounds good, maybe a little crushed red pepper and some shaoling wine too?

I don't know about the Shaoxing wine. It tends to be strong and may overpower the crab. When I make Chinese chicken soup, for 1 quart of soup, I use only one capful of Shaoxing wine.

Mucho Bocho
05-03-2013, 03:49 PM
good tip MhLee!

Jmadams13
05-03-2013, 04:03 PM
Yea I'm probably overthinking the issue. Trying to engineer a better mouse trap. I always have to things the hard way. Do the Chinese/japanese eat Crabs? I bet there's a Vietnimese recipe out there/

Whats the deal with fried Hard-Crab. I'm originally from Boston and thats a new one to me? Is it just like frying chicken?

She would pull the top shell off while still alive. Remove the lungs and mouthparts, and save all the yummy mustard. Fill with a crab cake, put the top shell back on, as make a beer batter with natty boh and the mustard, and deep fry, she'll and all. Simply amazing. It was quite popular among the Baltimore German population when he was growing up. But being 80 now, she can't do it anymore. I've tried many many times with her guidence, but they never turn out the same. She blames it on Boh not being made in Baltimore anymore, lol.

WildBoar
05-03-2013, 05:02 PM
My grandparents had a house at the Joisey Shore. My sisters and I spent many, many hours crabbing at the dock across the street. I never saw or heard of Old Bay until I was out of college, and I still find it kinda odd. My grandmother would clean the crabs before cooking, like Jmadams13 described. Once they were cooked, the meat was right there for the taking with little cleaning required at the table. Most dipped the crab meat in butter or vinegar. Much better way to eat crabs, in my opinion; why screw around with cleaning at the table?

skiajl6297
05-03-2013, 05:08 PM
Still do a yearly weekend gathering with college buddies at friends house in Easton, MD on the bay, and part of the ritual is day drinking, bbq, pool, dip in bay, and a bushel of crabs alongside other grilled goodies, corn, etc. Also Binkerts sausage. Any locals ever try Binkerts in Baltimore? Unquestionably the best sausage I have ever had in my life.

We always go with steamed crabs - bought live, MD style (duh). Steam (don't boil) in cheap beer, old bay, salt water, bunch of bay leaves, and lemon for exactly 23 minutes for perfection. We always do a layer of live crabs, cover with old bay, layer of crabs, more old bay, etc.

And then sit and eat and drink for hours. God, I can't wait. Crabs are the best! Softies should be running very soon in DMV bay area.

Jmadams13
05-03-2013, 05:20 PM
Binkerts is the ****!

I agree, the best part to a bushel is sitting around drinking and talking the day away with family a freinds. We do it about once a month in the summer. Surprisingly the eat MD style steamed crabs I've had are at a local spot here in in Hanover PA. Lots of Baltimore and md transplants, so it makes sense.

Jmadams13
05-03-2013, 05:22 PM
This thread has me thinking of a Baltimore/MD KKF gathering, over a few pitchers and a bushel... Hmmm. We can make it happen

eaglerock
05-03-2013, 06:41 PM
Females are better for the eggs :)

toddnmd
05-03-2013, 07:09 PM
Jmadams, sounds good! I'll bring my crab knife!

Mrmnms
05-03-2013, 09:51 PM
Anybody do garlic crabs?. We used to sell almost as much as old bay steamed. Steamed, cleaned, throw'm in a pot of house garlic butter.

Dardeau
05-04-2013, 12:27 AM
Any kind of compound butter works well. The crabs down here are just starting to moult, last year we had a really long softy season, well into July. If your blues are big enough to pick for lump meat you can make a crab cream with the bodies and fold in the lump and cheese at the end and make a great gratin. Or make a soup with brandy and cream. You get a lot of crabby bang for your buck making soups and sauces with the bodies of picked blues.

Duckfat
05-04-2013, 09:28 AM
Anybody do garlic crabs?. We used to sell almost as much as old bay steamed. Steamed, cleaned, throw'm in a pot of house garlic butter.

Now were cookin with peanut oil. Garlic crabs are the bees knees. I used to catch them, remove the meat, sautee in butter and make pasta sauce. The fresh crab with make the sweetest tomato sauce.

Sambal
05-05-2013, 01:14 AM
Ever tried a crab meat and garlic chives omelette? Fantastic combo. Lightly sear the crab meat, chives added just before the omelette sets.

panda
05-05-2013, 02:58 AM
there's no better way than the beer and old bay steam method, seriously. you could chop em up and stir fry with a chinese sauce but still not better than the old bay method.

Mrmnms
05-06-2013, 04:10 PM
I'm still thinkin bout that crab cream and brandied soups. Do you ship? :D
Any kind of compound butter works well. The crabs down here are just starting to moult, last year we had a really long softy season, well into July. If your blues are big enough to pick for lump meat you can make a crab cream with the bodies and fold in the lump and cheese at the end and make a great gratin. Or make a soup with brandy and cream. You get a lot of crabby bang for your buck making soups and sauces with the bodies of picked blues.

markenki
05-06-2013, 05:21 PM
I don't know about the males being preferable. I know a lot of Asian cultures prefer the females because of the eggs.
Absolutely!

Sambal
05-07-2013, 05:54 AM
Look at the undercarriage. If the undercarriage flap is wide, it's a female; (eggs are held under the wide flap). If it's narrow, it's a male.
I don't know about the males being preferable. I know a lot of Asian cultures prefer the females because of the eggs.


FWIW, I've been told that for breeding purposes it's more responsible to eat male crabs.

Jmadams13
05-07-2013, 10:22 AM
FWIW, I've been told that for breeding purposes it's more responsible to eat male crabs.

Here in the Maryland/VA bay area, females are restricted, only aloud to harvest a certain number a year.

Call me we wield, but I don't really like the females sweeter taste, Maybe it's because off all the males I've ate over the years as a child.

Sambal
05-08-2013, 12:12 AM
Yes, but the roe/eggs on the female crabs are fantastic in texture and flavour.

How about the "mustard"? I have heard that it's risky eating this because of possible toxins from the environment. Anyone know if this is true?