How to Crack Into a Crab
1. Remove the two large pincher claws by breaking them off at the body. Set them aside for cracking and removing the meat later.
2. Hold the crab in one hand and lift up one point to remove the top shell.
3. Cut off the ‘face’ of the crab where it joins the lower shell and remove the internal organs by scraping them out with a knife. It is not necessary to wash the crab at this point.
4. Make a straight cut from the back to the front of the crab, just above the leg joints. This cut is important; be sure to make it deeply enough. Repeat the procedure for the other side of the crab. Set the two pieces removed aside.
5. Cut off (do not pull off) the remaining legs where they join the body. It is advisable to keep the thumb pressed securely over the backfin meat when making these cuts. Note where the flat, paddled-shaped swim fin or backfin is attached to the body.
6. Locate the large chunk of white muscle on either side of the body of the crab (the ‘backfin’ or ‘lump’ meat) and remove it with the knife. (This muscle is located where the backfin was attached.)
7. The rest of the white meat in the body of the crab is located in the chambers separated by thin walls of cartilage. Remove the meat from the chambers by sliding the knife under and lifting it out. This meat is called the ‘flake’ or regular meat.
8. Remove the meat from the pieces cut off the top of the crab in step 4. There will be one chunk of white muscle (the top of the backfin muscle) that comes off easily, revealing a piece of cartilage. Make a diagonal cut just under this piece of cartilage and remove the rest of the meat from the chambers.
9. Tap the claw just below the pincher to make a straight, clean cut in the shell. Gently break the claw open and remove the meat with your knife. Repeat the procedure for the other claw.