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Crab guts!!!!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I live in Alaska and have access to king crab. I have heard that there are some good recipes for cooking the inards of the crab. I would hate to see it go to waist. If anyone has some suggestions that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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post #2 of 34
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post #3 of 34
First question....will the crab be alive or whole cooked when you receive it?

After taking off the leg clusters (I love the shoulder meat btw), I'd probably just use the body shell for a nice crab base reduction to use with some fresh halibut.

Also, the crab body can become a great presentation piece....stuffing it with just about anything.

I haven't come across any crab gut dishes personally.
post #4 of 34
Got my curiousity peaked.

This is a pretty interesting thread
What do the fishermen do with King Crab bodies? - General Chowhounding Topics - Chowhound

Ever heard of mince meat? They do it with a lot of crab and lobster bodies...mostly from the canned pasturized crab (Blue Swimming). Not really sure about king crab though, same with dungeness....the shells are simply too hard.

What they do is cook the bodies to oblivion, then grind it up. It is protein and calcium, but is completely shredded and has zero flavor....so a low end manufacturer of crab cakes would use a lot...because it does qualify as crab on the ingredient label.
post #5 of 34
I have lived in the Pacific NW and trapped Dungeness Crab for many Years and been shown many ways to prepare them, but have never had anyone wanting to cook and eat the innards ( yuck ). As a matter of fact most crabbers kill and clean the Crab before cooking, a clean cut through the middle and clean out the gunk with a hose, then steam or boil. I hope that helps, you don't cook Chicken with the innards so why do it with Crab was a comment from a livelong crabber to me.
post #6 of 34
While I have no idea how and why to use crab guts I used to watch the Japanese version of Iron Chef regularly and they would almost always use crab innards and even entire dishes out of 'crab brains'. I'd look in that direction for inspiration.
post #7 of 34
My understanding is that there's some food safety concerns about the innards of crab and lobster as well....so be very careful.
Listeria and PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning)...both of which can kill a person
post #8 of 34
Okay, yes, there are some toxicity concerns here. Basically you're eating the liver and such of the crab, which means you're eating all the toxins it's been able to filter out. But I would look for serious and authoritative information before deciding one way or another: you are going to hear everything between "never eat it, it's poison!" and "it's the best part, don't listen to the crazies!" My feeling -- which is not in any way authoritative -- is that unless you have good reason to believe that the guts are seriously toxic, you should be fine as long as you don't eat huge quantities regularly and you make sure they're cooked. Certainly listeria isn't a worry if you cook the stuff. I'd start by steaming the crab until just cooked. Shell and pick, and reserve the guts as well as the meat. Be sure to simmer the shells for a while to get a crab stock.

As for preparation, a very Japanese approach is to mix the crab "miso" (what they call the guts, which in English are generally called "mustard") with soy, sake, ginger, and sour citrus juice. Of these flavors, soy should be first, then citrus, with the others well in the background. But having mixed a liquid like this, you then add it to "miso", working it in with a mortar and pestle (for example), and tasting as you go: don't add so much that you overpower the intense but subtle crabby-fatty flavor. The soy and stuff are just an accent to bring the crab flavor forward. The result is a dipping sauce, into which you can dip your cold cooked crabmeat.

An alternative would draw on the same principle in a Western style. The classic dip for cold crab in the West is mayonnaise, so use the crab "mustard" and a small amount of intense citrus (grapefruit + key lime juices mixed?) as a flavor base, add only one egg yolk, and then work in the oil from there. The crab "mustard" should hold some oil, much as egg yolk does.
post #9 of 34
Well, I for one do eat the chicken liver, heart, gizzard, neck, etc. I have been known to eat the feet and gristle. I have had sauces thickened with the blood. I have been served the tongues, and know where I could get the brains, though I haven't had them.

There may be toxicity concerns here, but I think this crabber's issue is more about "the icks" than anything else.
post #10 of 34
Despite the relative "dangers" of shellfish innards, there are parts of the crab (not including meat) that have culinary value. Similar to a lobster's tomalley the crab "tommaley" has a rich bitterness that can be used mixed with the meat to make a stuffing or just eaten as is, scraped from the shell in a crab boil or steamed.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #11 of 34
After cleaning a crab, why would anyone want to find somethig to do with the guts. The only use I could think of, that would be of any food use, would be Fertilizer. They have fish fertilizer so who knows. Just think of how Oyster sauce and fish sauce are made. There may be hope for crab guts soon, but not in my kitchen. I am happy with the Succulent meat that the crab offeres us in the legs, joints and main body. I can honestly say I never met a crab I didn't like...............Take care...........Bill
post #12 of 34
You could make mini sausages with the entrails.

No, just kidding. Don't.
post #13 of 34
OTTAWA - Health Canada is issuing updated consumption advice for tomalley from lobsters harvested during the late Fall-early Winter 2008 lobster fishing season because natural toxins can sometimes be found in this organ.
Health Canada Updates Advice to Canadians on Consumption of Lobster Tomalley - Health Canada Information Update 2009-03-19
post #14 of 34
From what i've watched on TV, they ALWAYS throw out the guts
post #15 of 34
then as they recommend, eat at most one a day...
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #16 of 34
Just my opinion, FWIW: I wouldn't want to be so hungry. EEuuWW! :look:
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #17 of 34

I'm a little surprised here. Why is everyone so weirded out by the idea of eating shellfish tomalley / mustard? Do you also avoid all other organ meats, from poultry, game, meat, and fish?
post #18 of 34
Not to mention when eating crawfish you're supposed to suck the stuff out of the head/thorax... which is essentially the tomally of the mudbug. Not everybody grows up in that sort of culture, of course. Oh, and eating fried shrimp heads is simply the best... crunchy and then rich and gooey on the inside. Sort of like eating a crab rangoon (which, I have to admit I've only done once or twice in my life... the crab rangoon, that is).
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #19 of 34
And then there's sea urchin (uni), of which you just eat the gonads.

Does everyone hate that too?
post #20 of 34
I am not talking about Liver, Gizzards etc, but the GUTS. Have you ever cleaned a Crab > There are the for a better word Tentacles that filter out Toxins and Sand,yellow poop etc. Do you eat That ?
I grew up in Germany and love Bloodwurst, Liver and have eaten Brains and just about every part of a Pig, Cow, Goat etc etc. but draw the line of gut innards. And I know Sausage casings are Gut outers.
post #21 of 34
Dare I ask how your Mad Cow is coming along?
post #22 of 34
I'll pass on the crab guts, and I like offal meats and various oddments as much as the next person. Chicken feet are pure delight when they're done right. I love crab and lobster meat, but crabs and lobsters are really just giant ocean-dwelling bugs, and the goop inside them is just like the goop in those big grasshoppers that hit your windshield. No thanks.
post #23 of 34
Just about every culture except current European has no problem eating insects. Its just what you grow up with.
post #24 of 34
...and North American
post #25 of 34
yeah tomalley is good, the fat and brains of the crawfish are great.

so im sure this would be potentailly good

personally i tried urchin sushi and didnt like it. im fine with the idea of eating uncooked sexual organs, it just didnt taste good!

maybe i should give it another shot. it annoys me if i dont like something and i know some people, somewhere gobble it down (within reason of course)
post #26 of 34
after i read achebe's "things fall apart" for the first time, i started going online looking for sources of live locusts and proper safe methods for killing and sun drying them to be eaten with red palm oil....

unfortunately i havnt done this yet! but if i ever go to ibo land it is gonna be on.
post #27 of 34
Well I consider NA culture to be basically European, despite all the jingoism.
post #28 of 34

From my experience I can tell you that Filipinos and many other Asians consider the crab mustard and roe, as well as the lobster tomalley and roe, the BEST PART.  I was born and raised in the DC area (with abundant access to fresh Maryland blue crabs) and it's considered normal to eat the mustard and roe of crabs.  In fact, when I go to Cantler's (a famous crab place in Annapolis, MD) I end up stuffing myself on the crab guts that my (non-Asian) friends are too squeamish to eat, before I even get to the white crab meat (which I also love).

Additionally, I read an article on the Weston A. Price website that validates what I have always suspected to be true: that the mustard and roe of crab is incredibly nutritious (provided it is not from contaminated waters). The article also provides a few recipes.


There are many dishes that use the crab mustard/roe and lobster tomalley/roe.  In Canada, you can buy canned Clover Leaf Bay Lobster Pate which lists lobster meat, tomalley and roe as its main ingredients.  Seriously, when I first discovered this I was in HEAVEN!  Then there is the Southern delicacy called She-Crab Soup which uses the roe of the crab in a creamy bisque.  And when I was in Scotland I got to sample a "Dressed Crab" from a dockside vendor that tasted like crab meat mixed with the mustard and roe, stuffed back into a cleaned-out crab shell.  It was AMAZING.

post #29 of 34

Sounds delicious.

post #30 of 34
Originally Posted by Cat Man View Post

...and North American

And Australian.

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