Prepare the crab before cooking

When you buy your live crab from your fishmonger, you have the choice of having it prepared on-site, or bringing it home alive. For those in a hurry, in some fishmongers, a professional will be happy to break your crab into sections and clean it well. Be aware that if you bring your live crab back, there is no need to immerse it in the water for it to survive longer. Fresh water, on the contrary, would accelerate his death. So you keep it in the fridge, in a container, adding a damp cloth on top. All in order to conserve moisture. Under these conditions, you can keep your crab alive for up to 24 hours.

We strongly suggest that, before cooking, undo its each section. It contains small pockets of ink inside its shell that could spill into your cooking water and color the delicate flesh. The result would be less appetizing.

To undo the sections, hold each of them in your hands and twist the crab by turning one hand forward and one hand back. The sections will separate and you can throw the body away. You will then have to clean the “small greyish feathers” or gills, using a knife. Finally, if your crab sections have traces of sand, you can simply clean them gently underwater using a small brush. Your crab sections are therefore ready to send warm!

How to cook live crab

Each family defends its way of cooking crab, as each family has a different spaghetti sauce recipe. Here are our suggestions;

1 Steam

Only a little water will suffice, with a good dose of salt (we suggest 1/4 cup of salt for a liter of water). When the water boils, add your crab sections, cover your cauldron and count 6 minutes. Do not use a daisy to keep a salty taste.

2 Boiling water

Do the exact same thing as steam, but with a lot more water! Remember to adjust your amount of salt.


For barbecue lovers, you can, of course, grill your crab sections. On the other hand, take care to put them in indirect cooking, and not to leave them too long. You can count about 8 minutes and turn the sections halfway through cooking.

In any case, whichever method you choose, do not forget to immerse your sections of crabs in very cold and salty water, in order to stop the cooking and preserve the quality of the flesh.

How to shell it?

Having the right tools

To enjoy your crab with pleasure, equip yourself with a crab/lobster pick, to help you reach the smallest parts. You will also find in fishmongers the peeling chisel which will allow you to open all the legs of your sections without damaging the flesh. Be aware that if you do not have these special tools, a good pair of kitchen scissors could undoubtedly help you out! Now take advantage of these few weeks of happiness, since they will not return until next year. If ever the wait was too long, know that you can find frozen crab in fishmongers in sections throughout the year. Good tasting!

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