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Crab Legs


Feed Your Craving for Crab

Few foods say “celebration” like crab. And not only does it taste rich and delicious but it’s a great addition to a healthy diet with under 100 calories and a generous 17 grams of protein per 3 ½-ounce serving. So go ahead and indulge!

Buying, Prep & Storage

The freshest crabs are alive, very active and have been in the tank for less than a week. They can be refrigerated in a bowl covered with wet paper towel for no more than 12 hours. Discard any crab that dies before you cook it. Crabs can be boiled live, pan-fried (soft-shelled crabs), broiled, baked, or microwaved. Freshly cooked crab has a bright red shell and can be refrigerated for up to two days. Any exposed meat should be white and moist, not dried out or yellow.

Cooking Tips

  • When purchasing crab in the shell, you'll need to plan on 1 to 2 pounds per person.
  • When purchasing crabmeat without the shell, get 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of crab per person.
  • If cooking frozen crab, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Frozen crab meat is pre-cooked, so you will then simply need to heat them up.
  • If you're serving a sauce with the crabmeat, having it ready before you're finished cooking the crab. Crab doesn't hold heat very long.
  • Cracking a crab leg at the end and the joints will allow you to more easily push or pull the rest of the meat out.
  • You can also open crab legs by inserting a fork tine into the end of a crab leg, and then work the fork up the length of the shell. Special crab utensils are available as well.
  • While you eat the crab, you may notice that the claw meat tastes different — often sweeter — than the body meat. This is completely normal.
  • Remember, eating crab in the shell is messy. That's why they are often served outdoors or with bibs. For a neater dining experience, remove the crab meat from the shell before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Crabmeat is traditionally served with drawn butter and fresh lemon wedges. (To make drawn butter, bring butter to a boil, skim the froth off the top, allow milk solids to sink to the bottom and then carefully pout the golden top layer into a heat proof bowl.) Common accompaniments include a crisp salad, corn on the cob, crusty French bread, or fries. Crabmeat is also frequently used as stuffing for other foods, such as mushroom caps, shrimp, fish or chicken. Many meat or poultry recipes can be refreshed and made more original by substituting versatile, unexpected crabmeat instead.