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Live Crab Preparation - Step By Step | Yi Reservation

Live Crab Preparation

If you like the taste of fresh crab and prefer to clean and prepare the crab before you put it in that roaring steamer, you’ll find the following step by step tutorial helpful.

Because the crab will be moving around and fighting for its live, caution should be exercised while you handle this delicious treat.

To minimize its movement, you can consider freezing the crab for a short while before you proceed.

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Live Crab Preparation – Step by Step

1. Scrub off the dirt on the shell. Rinse under running water.

2.  Flip up the apron and remove it with a knife. The crab will start to struggle from this point on.

3. The hardest part is to open up the crab from its carapace. The easiest way is pull the one side of the legs and claw against the carapace. Make sure you apply the same amount of force to all the legs so you don’t rip off one or two of the legs.

4. Once the crab is open, make sure you remove all the guts and spongy gills from the crab. The yellow mush stuff found in the middle of the crab that’s sometimes known as crab butter is considered a delicacy in Asian cooking. Save it if you like it.  At the end, give a thorough rinse when all the inedible stuff is removed.

5.  The carapace side has more crab butter. To clean, first press down the mouthpiece and snap it up. You’ll hear the cracking sound.

6. Pull down the mouthpiece along with attached connective tissue. Be careful to not pull out the edible parts.

7. Lastly, if you find any white gooey stuff inside of are male crabs, pick it out with a small fork try not to poke through it. The white stuff is … I’ll let you guess 🙂



  1. 4

    Did you cool that crab down in the fridge/freezer first? I’m used to live crabs trying to pinch my fingers off! Lol!

    • 4.1

      Hi Chieko, I normally don’t cool the crab down. Normally the flows are tied down by rubber bands so I never had problem.

      • I buy blue crabs here and their claws are never rubber-banded. If steaming or boiling, no problem. If you want to handle them live, best to chill them until they’re borderline comatose so you don’t get pinched!

  2. 3

    What is the white gooey stuff inside the male crabs? I heard some people said it is a creatures they ate. The way you words it makes me think it is either 1. Their reproductive system, or 2. Their wastes.
    I am really curious, please just give me the answer.

    • 3.1

      Hi Annaka, thanks for visiting my blog. To answer your question, the white stuff is sperm from the male crabs. Hope this helps. Thanks.

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