Six kinds of crabs are important in commercial kitchens.
Largest of the crabs, weighing from 6 to 20 lb (2.7 to 9 kg).The meat can be removed in large chunks, making it especially attractive to serve in restaurants. It is expensive.
2. Alaskan snow crab.
Smaller than the king crab. Often used as a less expensive substitute.
3. Dungeness crab.
Another West Coast crab, weighing 1^2 to 4 lb (0.7 to 1.8 kg).The meat is very sweet.
Small crab from the East Coast,weighing about 5 oz (150 g). Most frozen crabmeat is from blue crabs.
Actually a molting blue crab, harvested before the new shell has hardened. It is sauteed or fried and eaten shell and all; only the gills and head are removed.
Soft-shell crabs must be cleaned before being cooked.The procedure is shown in Figure 14.15.
6. Stone crab.
Popular in the Southeast. Only the claws are eaten.
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