Cooking Louisiana  -  Cooking Crab
Favorite crab dishes in South Louisiana are boiled, stewed, stuffed and au' gratin. See "Seafood" for further discussion on Crab...

Whole Blue Claw Crabs don't take long to cook, about ten minutes in boiling water and they're done. Crabs don't normally present a problem by getting tough by overcooking but of course I can't remember ever trying to overcook them so I don't know from experience.

After we boil crabs the top shell is cleaned and saved as the container for stuffed crab. Of course we'll peel the remaining crabs after a meal and use the meat to make the stuffed crabs. We usually boil more than we need just for that purpose.

Speaking of boiled crabs, this is a favorite in South Louisiana. At family gatherings we'll get a bushel (6 doz. or so) or two and boil them up. This is done outside in a boiling pot (20 - 30 gallon) with seasonings like liquid or powdered crab boil, salt and a barrage of various vegetables and other meat.

Crab stew, one of my favorites, is made using the whole crab, top shell off and cleaned. Pinch the legs off using a fish skinner. I break mine in half to make it easy to stir the pot. We'll usually scald them in hot water to kill em' not cook em', then, prepare them for the pot or freezer. (See how to clean them) Boy there ain't nothin' like sucking the stew gravy out of the crab shell ..mmm.....! There I go getting hungry again....

Crab meat (chunk) is also delicious in a creamy soup such as Crab and Corn Soup which is a favorite. Crab bisque is virtually the same however you'll find some folks call a thin stew a bisque, depends on the location.

Crab meat (fine) can be used to make dips.

Crab meat (lump or fine) can also be used as a base for stuffings like stuffed Mirletons.

Here in South La. we make what is called a boulette (kind of like a small hamburger patty). It's made with either a bread or potato base, crab, onion and so on, then fried; sort of like a hush puppy.

When purchasing crab meat from the store you'll find it in lump, fine (minced) and claw varieties. The claw meat has a little different flavor but good none the less. Lump is taken from the back flipper and leg sections and the fine is the rest of the crab. Lump will most likely cost the most followed by claw and then fine varieties.

Imitation crab meat is made from fish such as Alaska Pollock or Walleye Pollock and, to a lesser extent, the New Zealand Hoki. I have tasted baked trigger fish and it also has a "crab-like" taste.

Last but not least is the soft shell crab... a true delicacy! Soft shell crabs are usually fried but can also be grilled.

Whatever you do with it, crab is good.

Bon' Appetite'....