A crab’s ability to retain its freshness in the meat depends on how soon you cook it after being chopped. This step by step process will teach you how to properly and easily handle live crab.
1. In a deep sink, flip the crab so that it’s underside is facing up. You will first drain the urine from the crab, which will allow the crab to die slowly. To release the urine, use a chopstick to poke a hole below the abdomen. You can also opt to hold one of the legs and with the other hand, detach the abdomen from the crab.
2. From there, the crab will slow down in energy. Depending on the crab, it can take about 15 minutes to half an hour. Once the crab is ready, bring it to the cutting board.
3. Using your cleaver as a barrier, wedge your cleaver between the claw and the head. Using your right hand, press the cleaver to hold down the claws of the crab, as you use your left hand to detach the head of the crab from its body. (Be careful of the left claw while you are removing the head). Once you detach the head, place it in a bowl.
4. Remove the gills from the body. Remove the crab mouth.
5. Chop claws off both sides of the crab.
6. Use your cleaver to chop the crab body right down the middle.
7. Starting on one side, chop two legs at a time to remove from the body. After legs have been chopped, chop the body of the crab into 2-3 pieces depending on the size of the crab. Chop in between legs to ensure a cleaner cut.
8. Repeat on the other side. For larger legs on the crab, chop in between the joints and detach.
9. Using a mallet and paper towel, cover up the crab leg with a paper towel. (Using a paper towel prevents the juices from flying everywhere.) Hold the crab leg facing up, and then use a mallet to smash the crab, just hard enough to crack the shell but not so hard that it shatters it. Repeat on all crab legs.
10. After you’re done chopping the crab, the crab is ready to be cooked!
Sharpen your cleaver before you begin. Have paper towels on hand for wiping away liquid from crab. When handling live crab, always have the claws of the crab facing away from you.
Keywords: how to cut a live crab