7 Etiquette Rules to Follow When Eating Crab
Crab is a delicious treat for your taste buds, but it doesn’t give up its treasures easily. Using your hands to pick each morsel of meat isn’t something that’s frowned upon, but that doesn’t mean you can throw your table manners out the window altogether. Here are some etiquette rules to follow to make sure your crab dining experience will be a good and easy one:
1. Wear your bib.
Eating crab can get a bit messy, so before you start cracking shells, use a crab bib to keep your clothes from getting unwanted stains. Remember to save your light-colored ensembles for another occasion to really enjoy the moment.
2. Know your utensils.
Crab is definitely not a knife-and-fork kind of meal, so it’s good to know which utensils can help you coax the crab meat out of its shell. The most common tools are the crab knife (a small, sharp tool used to pick the shell apart), the crab mallet (a long hammer with a small head used to crack open the claws), the crab cracker (a tool that looks like a nutcracker used to crack the claws and legs), and the crab pick (a small, two-pronged fork used to draw out crab meat from hard-to-reach places).
3. Clean your hands.
Before you get into the meat of the matter, make sure your hands are clean. In most restaurants where crab is their specialty, wet towelettes or finger bowls are usually provided throughout the meal.
4. Flip the crab and remove its “apron.”
When you’re ready to extract the crab meat, start by placing it on its back, belly up. Then, look for the crab’s “apron”—the triangular plate located on the bottom of the crab. Remove it by slipping your finger under the plate and peeling it back.
5. Separate the top shell from the bottom chamber.
Remove the top shell by wedging your thumbs on the opposite sides of its body. Use a knife or fork to scrape out and discard the gray, spongy part. Scoop out the crab meat from the top shell. One of the most important things to remember when eating crab is that you should never consume the meat directly from the shell. Always put it on your plate first.
6. Break the bottom chamber in half.
Using your hands, simply break the bottom chamber in half by pressing it down and pulling it apart. Pick out the meat with your hands, or use the crab pick to help you pull out the meat from the different sections of the chamber.
7. Snap off the legs and claws.
Most of the time, you'll be able to easily twist and pull the legs off. Use the crab cracker to crack the legs and claws and remove the meat. Do this carefully to minimize tiny shards. Don’t forget to clean up after eating by rinsing your fingers in the finger bowl.
Talking about the whole ordeal is enough to make your mouth water. If you're ready to devour the freshest crab in the city, book a table at Ministry of Crab. Its extensive menu of both crab and prawn would satisfy any seafood lover's palate. This acclaimed crustacean restaurant is a hotbed for different types of succulent crab, ranging from the smallest half-kilo crab to the two-kilogram, larger-than-life Crabzilla–and it serves them fresh and delicious!