The alpha male approach to crab is to grab a live crustacean and plunge it into boiling water, claws waving. The macho approach is to put the animal to sleep in the freezer, then plunge etc. The manly way is to buy fresh whole cooked crab and attack it with a hammer, pliers and other utensils to get to the meat. Very messy. The two above methods, needless to say, likewise. The girly approach is to buy dressed crab which will invariably have about two thirds of the meat the original shelled gentleman consisted of – those pickers, what a life.
I must admit I’ve only ever done manly and further down. Meat eating predator I may be, but I’m slightly worried about cooking a live animal – mainly because it might snip my finger off, I guess. On the other hand, opening a tin might result in a nasty accident too.
The taste, of course, rewards the alpha males. The crab claws I picked at Fisherman’s Wharf, straight from boiling vats (and there wasn’t a freezer in sight) were the most delicious I’ve had.
I mix the white and brown meat together but if you’re fussy (and prepared not to have much food on your plate, especially if you’ve followed the girly way), stick to just white.