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  • Prefer to purchase a Crab & Lobster which is alive as decomposes faster than most other seafood.
  • Crab & Lobster should be brightly coloured and have lustrous shells and flesh. Light/ dull colour may imply molting phase or time delay from catching.
  • Fresh Crab / Lobster will have mild ocean aroma, if there is unusual odour, don't buy.
  • Don't buy them based on the size of the crab/Lobster as molted ones may look big but less meat.
  • Look for Crab or Lobster with proportionate size and weight.
  • Feel the hard shell by pressing top and bottom and on to the sides, confirm to yourself it is firm, before buying.
  • In case of Crab female can have egg on the underside of the crab; you may lose out on the meat. Female can be identified by triangular flab under side of the crab, where as male will have lean flap.
  • Various method employed to kill crab and lobsters
  • Traditionally they were thrown into boiling water, but recently other methods are followed which is considered more humane
  • Live Crab and Lobster can be kept on the freezers to make it inactive before cleaning
  • In the belly side of the crab and under the belly flab a sharp metal is pushed thru a tiny hole like structure is actually a nerve ending. Puncturing will reduce the pain but the crab will be alive
  • Collapsing the brain will alleviate the organism from pain and angry reaction
  • Crab cleaning generally means removing top shell, gills, eyes & mouth parts and abdominal flap at the underside of crab.
  • Top shell can be opened like Indian tiffin box, hold the crab and pull top shell from other side, remove the abdominal flap under side of the crab.
  • Take the scissors and cut front portion include eyes, mouth parts, brain (all unwanted stuff)
  • On the dorsal side (top), remove the gills- whitish leaf like loosely attached spongy structures, and remove hepatopancreas in yellowish green colour and wash throughly.
  • What is left is the edible part of Crab.
  • Claws and legs can be separated, if the crab is big, otherwise cut across the middle; based on the necessity and convenience.

Frozen Crabs are sold in the form of IQF (Individually frozen) or block. Block frozen crab have pieces frozen as single block and IQF have pieces frozen separately.

Most of the frozen crab processed as ‘whole’ or as ‘sections’. Whole is un-cleaned crab, it needs to be further cleaned for consumption, where as ‘crab sections’ are gut, mouthparts, shell and gills removed. Body is cut in cross section with one portion of body and claws.

Before cooking, frozen crab needs to be de-frosted under cold running water placed inside the poly bag. Also you can defrost shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. Frozen seafood can also be thawed by immersing the frozen seafood in the bowl of cold water.

Crab

Lobster tail edible part of lobster

Crab

Crab cleaned edible sections

Crab

Male and female crab difference visible in abdomen

Live crab: Crab can live out of the water for longer period of time, if they are kept stress free, right temperature (ambience) and oxygen supply - they can stay for a week.

Frozen: Frozen seafood can be stored in the home freezers for a month. Storing the frozen seafood in deep freezers can be up to 6 months. Storage in Frozen cold store can be up to 1 year and above.

Crab has delicate texture on cooking, Crabs is generally succulent with slight sweetish taste. Lobsters and crabs are cooked when their shells turn a deep red and their meat changes from translucent to opaque. Allow 10-12 minutes/ pound of live lobster.

How to kill & clean a crab

How to Kill and clean a Lobster

How to clean the crab

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