Another seafood adventure for Kids In the Kitchen – this time, with blue crabs! Brandan wanted to try a crab boil, as he’d never encountered live crabs before. Sure, we did the lobster thing a few weeks ago, and we’ve had crawfish boils, but never crab. As an avid lover of all things crab, I figured we were overdue for this adventure. I contacted my local fishmonger and we were set. We brought home about 8-9 pounds of blue crab.
Brandan was ecstatic. Of course, as any young boy, he wanted to play with them. So we picked up one, and in response, it angrily latched onto others. You were hard-pressed to only pull one from the bunch – many times, you’d pick up one only to lift a chain of three or four, clasping each other with their claws.
After the play ceased and our water was boiling (we simply seasoned with Old Bay, lemons, and a bit of vinegar, which makes for easier picking), we dropped crabs into the water. They were relatively small, so they were cooked through in about 8 minutes. Boiling crustaceans actually is a relatively quick and easy job, compared to a lot of other cooking that goes on in our kitchen! After a brief cool-down, they were ready to pick and eat!
Want to know how to eat a blue crab? Check out this step-by-step tutorial over at Coconut & Lime. (Hint: you might not want to wear your Sunday best for this, and you might want to cover the table in newspaper. Also, plenty of paper towels is a plus.) It does take some time to thoroughly pick the meat from a crab, but it makes for a great social gathering opportunity – just gather around a table filled with crabs and chat and eat! (Also, a not-so-kids-in-the-kitchen-friendly tip – crabs go great with a gluten-free beer.)
The verdict in our household? Brandan and I enjoyed the crab most of all, and put quite a dent in our bounty. (I particularly savored the claw meat - so sweet and delicious.) Brittany and Matthew weren’t fans, although I wasn’t too surprised after the lobster incident last time. John wasn’t as excited about it as he was the lobster. Regardless, it was certainly a delicious adventure.
Boiled Blue Crabs
8-9 lbs live blue crabs
large, deep stockpots, filled with filtered water
1/2 c Old Bay Seasoning
2 T vinegar
2 lemons, cut in half
Add seasoning, vinegar, and lemons to water. Bring water to a boil. Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the crabs to the water and return to a boil. Boil for 8-10 minutes or until crabs are a bright red and are completely cooked through. Remove from water and allow to cool for a minute, and then enjoy! (Repeat with remaining crab)