Sustainable Living Center Oregon
About one-quarter of the crab’s weight is meat. The flesh has what is a delicate flavor and a slightly sweet taste.
Live crabs can be cooked simply by dropping them into boiling salt water, waiting for a boil to return, and then allowing it to continue for 15 minutes, after which time the crabs are removed and placed into cold water to cool, and then cleaned.
Warning Dominic Acid
When the whole crab is cooked in liquid, Dominic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended to discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, etc.
Another method of preparing crab is called half backing. Half backing is done by flipping the crab upside down and chopping it in half (from head to “tail”), after which the guts and gills can be scooped or hosed out. Many consider half backing to be superior to cooking the entire crab because the meat is not contaminated by the flavor or toxins of the guts. Furthermore, half backed crabs boil faster or can be quickly steamed instead of boiled.
Keep in mind that seals and sea lions may eat bait they are attracted to and that they can access (e.g. laying out on a crab ring). You can minimize this problem by using a bait bag or box, using bait that they don’t eat (e.g. turkey legs), avoiding areas where they are prevalent, or by using pots.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s shellfish program monitors recreational crab harvest in a number of Oregon’s bays. Click Here …. for Current crabbing reports
Be extra cautious when reaching into a trap or ring full of crab; a pinch from a crab can be very painful. Handle the crab from the rear with a thumb on the underside or by grasping the rear legs.
Releasing “soft shell” crab is strongly recommended. Soft shell crab is newly molted. The volume of meat is low and the quality is usually stringy and less palatable.
Be sure to carefully and quickly release unwanted crab; do not throw them from heights as this will crack their carapace and kill them. It is illegal to retain only the claws of any species.
Recreational crabbing also is open in the ocean off Oregon, but the bays are open all year long. There is a seasonal ocean crabbing closure from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30. Ocean crabbing requires larger boats and higher skills, and better conditions, so bay crabbing is more popular with larger boaters.
Dungeness crab best season on the Oregon Coast from mid-November to June, and is eaten with delight in worldwide, and shipped to other locales as well. The finest crab is caught between November and March, so try to get meat early in the season, if you can. The meat is rich, savory, and so delicious that many people enjoy eating Dungeness crab plain, although there are a variety of tasty preparations for it including salads, sandwiches, crab cakes, and seafood stews like cioppino.
The important thing to remember when cooking this type of crab is that the meat has an excellent and unique flavor which should not be overwhelmed by other ingredients; less really is more. Taste the meat plain before adding seasonings, and use a light hand to dress crab, allowing your guests to actually taste it. Preferably, crab should be cooked live, so clean it after it comes out of the boiler or steamer by splitting it down the middle and removing the center section, along with scraping away the gills on either side.
When you think of crabs on North America’s West Coast, you think of Dungeness crab — the giant, meaty crustacean, but the Dungeness lives with another crab: the Pacific red rock crab The red rock crab (also known as just the red crab or rock crab) lives in and around rocky places such as Depoe Bay which is very rocky — thus the name “rock crab.” These crabs are mean and will pinch you and are predators to hard-shelled clams and oysters.
Although the meat of the red rock crab is as delicious as the Dungeness, the red rock crab is smaller, making the body meat in rock red crabs more difficult to extract than that in Dungeness crabs. Most of the meat is in the giant crusher claws these critters are armed with.
This crab has tender flesh with good crab flavor. It’s best as an “eat from the shell”crab because the flaky flesh is a bit difficult to remove. Serve it in halves as shown below. Yield is very low with a 1 pound crab yielding 2.6 ounces of crab meat (16%) but that’s better than some other crabs. If you are fortunate enough to get a hold of large red rock crabs, meaning the shell is wider than 6 inches, treat them as Dungeness and pick out all the meat for any crab recipe that suits your fancy.
How to Cook Red Rock Crab
Crabbing is one of the Oregon Coast’s most enjoyable pastimes. The thrill of pursuing these cagey creatures is justly rewarded with savory table fare. A sport that can be shared with the entire family, crabbing continues to grow in popularity
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