How to Reduce Crab Food Waste

As the days get lighter and sunnier, we enter crab season. This delicate yet delicious seafood can be used in lots of different recipes, but a whole crab might seem slightly intimidating as well as wasteful. Luckily, there are lots of different ways to make sure you get the best use of all of the crab and reduce your food waste.

If you’re making dressed crab from you’re whole crab, that’s a great way to take all the meat from the crab and put it in one place. When you’re dressing a crab, you need to break the shell down and remove all parts that you cannot eat (dead man’s fingers, air sac etc.) from the body. Then break up the claws and legs and extract all the meat. You can separate this into brown meat and white meat. These two can be used in different recipes to make the most of your crab.

Once you have a dressed crab, you’re left with lots of broken claws and legs. Then, once you’ve enjoyed your dressed crab, there’s the empty shell. Don’t be tempted to throw these shells into the bin. You can make a delicious seafood stock with the shells.

To make a stock with the crab shells, fry olive oil with onion, garlic, carrots, and celery (all chopped), until sweated down. Then add a spoonful of tomato paste and allow the mixture to darken. Smash up all the shells and add them to the pan. Add a splash of white wine and a bay leaf for seasoning then cover with water. Allow this to cook for about 2 hours on a simmer. Then strain the stock and discard the shells. This stock would have extracted all the delicious crab flavour and can be used in many different recipes from a crab sauce to a risotto or curry.

If you’d like to make your crab last for longer, you can cook the individual parts for different meals. For the crab legs, fry them with lots of garlic butter for a tasty summer lunch with some crusty bread. This is best to do with spider crabs as they have longer legs with more meat.

The crab claws have stronger meat, therefore, you can pair with some powerful flavours such as chilli for an Asian inspired dish.

You could even use the crab meat to make a delicious chilli crab butter by mixing it together with softened butter, chillies, and garlic. This is perfect to go on toast as a pairing with seafood soup.

cromer crab salad

Crab Recipes

Get inspired with some crab recipes from our website

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