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  1. #1

    Cooking mud crabs

    I have a problem, after cooking mud crabs with shell on for 15 minutes after coming back to the boil the majority are fine but occasionally the meat in some nippers sticks to the outer and inner shell and one nipper had mushy meat. Can anyone help?

    Fantine

  2. #2

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    are these killed in an ice slurry or freezer

  3. #3

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    yep if you killed them in the freezer you may have frozen one or two of the nippers

  4. #4

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    they were all killed in an ice slurry.

  5. #5

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    I am not sure it's the cooking method, I have seen things like that before, I cooked a bag limit of Blue Swimmers (sandies) yesterday, and one had crap meat and was full of what was like yellow muddy water in both nippers, the rest were perfect. Don't think it is a disease as such, just " something"wrong with that particular one.

  6. #6

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    15 mins after coming back to the boil is right on the line before over cooking IMO but I have not cooked a muddie for years, only blue swimmers which I do for 8 mins after boil. To prevent over cooking and to chill them down I always have an ice slurry (with salt) prepared to spear the crab into straight after the boil. I then clean the crab in this slurry and "swoosh" the guts out as I break the body in half after removing the carapace. If you follow my chill down method the meat seems to separate really well.

    Scalem

  7. #7

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    Not too sure about this over cooking business, kind of think it's an old wives tale... The other day I did 3seperate "cooks" and during the first one, I threw in a nipper that was "thrown" I forgot about it ntill I had finished all three boils, and the water had cooled a bit to tip it out, and saw the nipper in the bottom, not wanting to wate it, I cracked it open to eat, it was no different to any of the others I cooked and chilled straight away as usual, so I don't hold too much faith in being able to actually over cook a crab!

  8. #8

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    Did the meat separate from the shell easily Noel? One of the most fleshy parts in the body is the part adjacent to the back flippers. You might be right about the nippers but this part of the body I have certainly tasted very "mushy" flesh with the consistency of peanut butter. I have always associated that with over cooking, but never have experienced it with my own crab cooking and chilling down method in ice slurry. I might have to do an experiment to be 100% sure but can't bare potentially wasting crab to do so. There might be another explanation, but my results speak for themselves.

    Also, and this isn't so much to do with the taste as the ease of meat extraction. There are many who don't bother with the legs ( not nippers) and all the knuckles or "joints" as you might prefer to call them. When I eat crab, I'll sit there for ages working to extract the meat out of these, usually with either a satay stick or the top of the nipper claw as the tools. The meat has to come away easily, I don't want to make it a search and rescue mission. I believe the time allowed to cook will have a bearing on this, but again, need to do some experiments to be 100% certain.

    Scalem

  9. #9

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    Yep, the meat came out of the shell fine, I will also do a test, we are getting lots of Sandies here right now, so I will give it a try and let you know how it goes. I eat every bit of meat I can when eating crabs, but when there is plenty, I guess I tend to get a bit picky and waste a bit, the big chunk of meat on the swimming leg is just the best when still hot, a sandie straight out of the pot is divine....

  10. #10

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    Noel is on the money, "mushy" flesh in the crab is nothing to do with the cooking, it is due to an enzyme present in the crab.cheersvs

  11. #11

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    OK, did a "scientific" test yesterday afternoon, I cooked two lots of sandies, one crab I left in the pot from the first lot, then cooked the second lot, and left the crab in the water for another 15 mins or so, pulled it out with the tongs and cooled it down in the sink with straight cold tap water, kept the "special" one aside and got a family member to clean and test both for eating quality, after a taste test and an inspection of the cleaning, there was absolutely no difference at all, so... is it possible to over cook a crab??? I am sure you can under cook one, leaving it "clear" and crap looking, but over cooking?, maybe after a couple of hours!

  12. #12

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    I always break my crabs up and clean them PRIOR to cooking. I find the flesh is much nicer and they are a lot easier to eat (very clean)
    5 mins for sandys, 10 for muddies. I also nearly always eat crab hot. A friend put me onto it about 2 years ago and have been doing in ever since.

    ive never had a prob with meat sticking.

  13. #13

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    Quote Originally Posted by Noelm View Post
    OK, did a "scientific" test yesterday afternoon, I cooked two lots of sandies, one crab I left in the pot from the first lot, then cooked the second lot, and left the crab in the water for another 15 mins or so, pulled it out with the tongs and cooled it down in the sink with straight cold tap water, kept the "special" one aside and got a family member to clean and test both for eating quality, after a taste test and an inspection of the cleaning, there was absolutely no difference at all, so... is it possible to over cook a crab??? I am sure you can under cook one, leaving it "clear" and crap looking, but over cooking?, maybe after a couple of hours!
    No time like the present, that was very quick to do your experiment! Good work, I will now not be in a panic to get them out quite as quickly, it's only saving gas on the burner to shut it down sooner. Might try eating them hot too. Lots to learn!

    Quote Originally Posted by NArmstrong View Post
    I always break my crabs up and clean them PRIOR to cooking. I find the flesh is much nicer and they are a lot easier to eat (very clean)
    5 mins for sandys, 10 for muddies. I also nearly always eat crab hot. A friend put me onto it about 2 years ago and have been doing in ever since.

    ive never had a prob with meat sticking.
    Yep I agree. Although getting the carapace off a green crab is a bit tougher than a cooked one. I tried this three weeks ago and loved the result, then at Easter I cooked them whole but washed the crab vigourously in the ice slurry and found very little difference to the eating quality. So either way is fine, depends if I have the motivation to clean green crab before cooking.


    Scalem

  14. #14

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    I find the clean them first method V cook then clean to be a 50/50 call, it is in a way better, but then, not a lot, so is it worth the trouble? I just cook mine as is now, whole and clean them when I eat them, for Blue Swimmers (Sandies) I "kill" them in ice, place them in boiling water, bring back to the boil, then 8 minutes boiling, out of the pot into iced cold water (except for the ones I eat hot), these just get put to one side. Muddies, same thing, ice to kill, into boiling water, boil for 15 minutes, then into iced water to cool, I don't eat muddies hot, in fact, I don't eat that many muddies, I reckon Sandies leave them for dead for taste. Right at the moment we are in the middle of a great crab run, you can get your bag limit (20 in NSW) in a couple of hours easy, and that's selecting only the very biggest ones, my son got his bag limit with only the 5 allowable traps (lift traps/pots) in around one and a half hours on Sunday afternoon, near beat the family record for the biggest too, but missed out by a couple of CM.

  15. #15

    Re: Cooking mud crabs

    Great stuff Noelm - I've often wondered about overcooking. Thanks for taking the time.

    I agree with your mud vs sand verdict too. Sandies are the only thing I miss about living in brissie since moving to bundy.

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