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How to prepare Cornish crab

April is the perfect time to get cracking with Cornish crab. GCG got to grips with preparing fresh crab. It is the perfect filling in doorstep sandwiches with lashings of ginger beer. (Famous Five story-lines optional).

Kit and Caboodle

The following kit list is all you need (as well as crab from the crab man) to get going.


Pan of boiling water


Rolling pin / hammer

Teaspoon / crab pick

Get cracking

  1. Put your crab in the freezer for about one hour. This makes the crab sleepy and is the most humane way of preparing a crab.​
  2. In a large pan boil salted water to a rolling boil.  Take the crab out of the freezer and place into the pan. Bring the water back to the boil.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the crab and leave to cool
  5. Break away the claws and the legs from the body. Put the body to one side.
  6. The claw is in three sections. Break off section one (the part closest to the body). Place remainder of claw on a hard surface, for example a cutting board. Give the claw a sharp tap with a rolling pin/small hammer to crack the shell.
  7. Pull section two and three apart and using the handle of a teaspoon ease the meat away from the shell into a bowl. Repeat for section one. Be careful so as not to break the thin cartilage of the claw into the crab meat.
  8. Follow a similar pattern for the legs.
  9. Prize the crab shell away from the body. Within the crab shell, lies the brown meat. Drain water from shell (if any) and scoop the brown meat into a bowl. Mix the brown meat around with a fork into a paste.
  10. Remove grey gills from the body and discard. Carefully tease the white meat from the leg cavities and body comb.
  11. Chill the crab meat before eating.


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How to prepare Cornish crab

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