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Fresh Crab Recipe: Crab Salad

In California the rock crab season is open year-round. They are easily caught especially as a by catch when you're out fishing for lobsters! And, here's the best part, California rock crabs are just as tasty as dungeness crab. That's because they're close relatives. Rock crab don't have as much meat in their bodies, but their claws get just as big.

So, here's a recipe on how to make a crab salad for fishermen fresh caught crab. In this video recipe I go through the whole process, from boiling and cleaning, and then creating an insane crab salad with a lemon butter reduction sauce that's to die for. By the way, once you learn to make this sauce at home you'll love it on any of your seafood and fish dishes, trust me.

kayak fishermen

Tony and Jorge shared their favorite spot in Santa Monica Bay with me, now I'm a believer in fresh caught rock crabs.

california rock crabs

All you need is a few hoop nets so you can end up with this, lobsters and crabs!

Fresh Crab Recipe Salad (serves 2)

2 each, 1 ½ – 2 pound whole crabs

¾ stick of unsalted butter (to be clarified)

3 lemons juiced

2 cloves of garlic

Kosher Salt

Coarse black pepper

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill

Make A Fresh Crab Recipe

1. First start by bringing a large pot of salted water (salty like the ocean) to a rolling boil. Place the crab into the boiling water for 7 minutes per pound. While the crab is boiling, prepare an ice bath by placing 4 cups of ice cubes into a large bowl of 4 cups of cold water. When your crab is done cooking, place the it into the ice bath momentarily for a minute or two, and set aside to cool.

Create The Lemon-Butter Reduction

2. Now, create the lemon-butter reduction sauce. Start by boiling the lemon juice until it reduces by half over a medium-high heat. While the lemon juice is reducing, crush the garlic cloves and skin them. Add a pinch of coarse salt over the garlic and use the backside of the large chef's knife to smash the cloves into a paste. Now add the garlic paste into the reduced lemon juice and stir with a pinch of pepper.

3. Start clarifying the butter by melting it in a small pan over a low heat until it is completely melted. Don't allow the butter to brown or burn. Remove from the heat for 2 minutes to allow the milk solids to settle to the bottom of the pan while the salt crystals float to the top. With a slotted spoon, skim off the solids from the top and discard.

Slowly pour the melted butter into the reduced lemon juice while leaving the unwanted milk solids on the bottom of the pan. Mix your clarified butter and the reduced lemon juice together. Finally, add a tablespoon of chopped dill.

Finishing The Crab Salad

4. Start by separating the crab's lower half from its upper half. First place the crab upside down on the cutting board and then put pressure with your thumbs on the backend of the crab where the halves meet. Thus, forcing the two halves to come apart.

5. Next, remove the mouth piece assembly from within the upper crab shell and cut it into quarters. Now carefully, while using a pairing knife, remove all crab meat from the mouth assembly. Remember to be mindful not to include broken pieces of crab shell.

6. Using a mallet or hammer, crack open the legs and claws. Now, use a fork and your fingers to remove the crab meat and set aside.

7. Use the inside of the top half of the crab shell as a serving dish. Create an opening large enough using your fingers to break off pieces of the crab shell. Clean the inside of the shell with a small hand brush. Once cleaned, place all the collected crab meat inside the shell.

Finally, now add the lemon-butter sauce on top of the crab meat and garnish with remaining chopped dill. Serve and enjoy.

NEED SOME KITCHEN STUFF? 😋 Here's a great way to support Fisherman's Belly. Use our amazon links to purchase items you may need. You don't pay extra but, Amazon sends us a small commission on your purchase. Just click on the links below to take a look and shop around. Thanks, Yanni ________________________________________________________ ➤ 30 Day Free Amazon Prime Membership​

KITCHEN GADGETS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS RECIPE 🌶 ➤ Stock Pot Stainless Steel 20-quart w/Lid ➤ Orange Citrus Juicer/Squeezer ➤ 24" Round Hard Wood Cutting Board ➤ 12-inch Chef's Knife ➤ Wusthof Pro Cook’s Knife 12-inch

➤ Culinary Pairing Knife Forged

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT USED 🎥 ➤ Canon EOS 70D Food Photography & Video ➤ GoPro HERO4 Black

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Meet The



I'm a fisherman and a cook, and I love to do both. My name is Yanni and welcome to my website, Fisherman's Belly. Here, using your fresh fish and everyday ingredients, you can learn to cook hand-crafted easy fish recipes. 

See you on the water and in the kitchen. Yanni

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Thanks for submitting your question. I'll get back with you as soon as possible. Yanni

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