To cook crabs, boil the Blue Swimmer or Sand Crabs in saltwater, or sea water. If tap water is to be used, add a cup of common salt to every medium sized pot. Let them boil for 5 minutes, and then cool them quickly under a running tap of cold water to set the meat.
Live crabs should be "put down" before cleaning. It may seem unpleasant, but the quickest way to do this is by sticking the point of a knife or an ice pick between the eyes. I've heard of a theory of drowning them in fresh water, but the process, even though unpleasant, can stress the meat. However, I have not found or heard of any documented proof that this works.
Shown below is the most common way to clean a crab and extract the meat from it. The flesh is very sweet and succulent, though the body meat can be very fiddly to extract from the paper-thin internal shell. However, the effort is well worth it !
Hold the crab firmly in one hand, and slide a sharp knife under the shell with the other.
Use the knife as a lever to prise off the shell.
Pull the shell away from the body.
Remove and discard the "feathery" internal gills.
Twist off all the legs and the claws.
To expose the body's white meat, cut it in half.
Open out the halves.
Dig out the white meat from the halves using the point of a sharp knife.
Crack open the claws and legs with a hammer or nutcracker and extract their meat.
Mix together the meat from the legs, claws and body and serve.
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