There are seasons for eating certain species of crab in certain regions, although fresh Blue Crab is found available around the year.
However, there are some things to be cautious of if you go fishing for these yourself.
One of the most significant things being with female crabs. While catching female crabs isn’t illegal, you will find yourself in hot water should you harvest egg-bearing females.
As a result, the majority of seafood on offer that is blue crab you can eat will be male.
With this aside, you may wonder what do blue crab eat to make them taste so nice. Blue crab eats pretty much anything they can find, and nothing stands out as a food source to affect their taste.
In the rest of this guide, you can learn more about blue crabs, eating them, and which parts you shouldn’t. By the end, you’ll be well versed in how to eat crab of any variety. (Find the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for The Money)
Do You Eat the Shell of Blue Crab?
You won’t eat the top shell as this is too hard, yet if you swallow a piece, it should breakdown without issues. The blue crab does have an inner soft shell, and again, you need to remove this as it hides the backfin meat.
What Part of the Blue Crab is Poisonous?
You can find many people who say crab lungs are toxic; however, they are not digestible and don’t taste very nice. You will also find the gooey stuff that sits in the middle of the crab in two solid parts of equal size. The green part is the tomalley or the crab liver and can be eaten.
Gills are another part of your blue crab not to eat. You need to get rid of these on either side of the crab and use your fingers or a knife to do so. If you see any areas that appear unappetizing, you can remove them.
What Parts of Blue Crab are Edible
You have the main bulk of the crab meat inside the shell and the meat in the large claws. Smaller claws contain meat, yet you need to suck on these to enjoy the inside rather than pick the meat out.
You may see the yellow “mustard,” which is the hepatopancreas. This is the main part of the blue crab’s digestive system. It is a delicacy for some people, although you can discard it if you don’t enjoy eating it.
What’s the Best Way to Eat Blue Crab?
Much of the experience is in the cooking and preparation as it is in the eating.
Steam local crabs when still fresh, however, you can start picking apart local crabs if you bought them steamed already.
Chilled live crabs are easier to steam as cold temperatures make them docile. Be sure crabs are alive as you place them in your steamer, as dead crabs are dangerous to cook.
Fill your steamer with two inches of water and place your crabs in the steamer. Cover and wait for steam to escape, which should take around ten minutes. Make sure the steamer lid is closed with no gaps. (Learn about the Best Freshwater Fish To Eat)
Let the crabs cook for a further twenty to thirty minutes as the cooking time depends on your number of crabs and heat source.
Keep an eye on the color before removing from the steamer. Crabs should be bright orange, and if you see dark red, reddy-green, or blue areas, then your crabs are not cooked.
Remove the crabs and place them on a serving plate before adding your favorite seasoning. You can find Old Bay a popular seasoning to be sued on Blue Crabs.
Once cooked, you need to cover your table as it can get messy. One other thing is to have the right tools to break open your crab. A paring knife and mallet are suitable tools to open your crab and break the claws open. You can also use your hands to do so as well. (Read Quick Guide to Saltwater Fishing In The Rain)
Here you can find the best ways to eat blue crabs:
- Remove claws and legs from the body. You can throw away little legs, but keep claws for later. Check small legs if they contain any meat you can suck out.
- Next, use your hands and separate the shells. Toss the top shell and make sure to keep the apron or the underside of your crab.
- Pull back the apron, and turn the crab on its shell, so the belly faces up. Pull the apron back, and lift the apron to break it off before discarding it.
- You will find male crabs come with a thin apron while the female’s apron is larger.
- Use your fingers or knife and remove the gills to either side of your crab. Gills aren’t edible, so leave them.
- You can discard the blue crabs’ digestive system, even if some people find it a delicacy.
- Break your crab in half, and then break each half in half once more. Use a knife or your hands.
- Pick the meat then take half the crab and squeeze it before pulling it open. Now you can dig out all the meat you can. Do this for all the pieces to get as much crab meat before you move on.
- Now, you will have the task to crack open the claws.
- Place a claw on the table and face the pincers face up.
- Take the knife and push it behind the joint, and then take your mallet, and hit the knife, so you crack the shell.
- You should now be able to pull off the shell.
- You should see the crab meat come out in one piece, and if it doesn’t, use the knife to start picking and dig the meat out.