Captain Obadiah’s Seafood Market

All About Blue Claws

Blue Claw FAQ

What is a Blue Claw Crab?

Blue Claw Crabs get their name from their distinctive blue coloration. They are prized for their taste and versatility with pasta, crab cakes, crab dips, etc.

What makes Blue Crabs so unique is where you find most of the meat. Unlike King Crab or Snow Crab, most of the Blue Crab meat comes from the body. The largest “lump” of crab meat comes from their rear swimming legs that look like paddles, located in the abdomen on the backside of the crab.

The crab “mustard” is also edible. Gills and viscera are inedible and should be discarded.

Crab mustard is not related to the popular condiment, but refers to the crab’s hepatopancreas, which serves as its digestive gland. While it may not look appetizing, crab mustard is highly prized in culinary circles for its rich and savory flavor. Some people smear a bit of crab mustard on a slice of buttered bread or roll. Recommended to consume in moderation because it’s a digestive organ, but worth a taste!

Tools: Crab Mallet, Butter, Bread, Patience

NOTE: It is recommended to use the mallet with precision, otherwise you’ll end up with a pile of meat mixed in with little bits of shells.

  1. With the crab in hand, remove the large claws and three middle legs by pinching them at the base and twisting. Don’t remove the backfins yet.
  2. To crack the claws, use the edge of the mallet to hit firmly but precisely just above the pinchers. Do this on both sides of the claw.
  3. You should now be able to gently pull apart the claw shell to reveal a chunk of meat.
  4. Perform the same steps on the upper joint of the same leg.
  5. For the small legs, use gentle pressure to snap them in two and pull out a small piece of meat.
  6. Once you are finished with the claws and legs, move on to the body.
  7. Peel back the apron found on the underside of the shell.
  8. Detach the top shell from the bottom portion.
  9. Remove the gills by peeling them away from either side of the body and discard them.
  10. You will also see a small amount of viscera (intestines and heart) in the center of the body cavity. Discard this as well.
  11. Crack the body of the crab down the center with your hands so you have two halves.
  12. Gently break off the backfin and pull out the jumbo lump meat from the body (remember, this is the “lump!”)
  13. Pinch and pick out any remaining crab meat from the delicate inner shells of the body.
  14. Move on to your next crab!

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