My Louisiana roots give me a deep appreciation for good food and, in particular, crab. I have fond memories of eating king crab legs, crab cakes, French Cajun creamy crab bisques and spicy crab salad. Dad used to say: “Us Cajuns get mighty crabby without our crab!”
There are two types of crab meat: lump and claw. Lump crab comes from the leg muscles. It’s the tastiest. Claw meat is the dark meat of the crab. Both are interchangeable in recipes, but as a general rule, lump meat is used in hearty crab cakes, crab cocktails and salads. It’s a pretty white color and stands well all by itself. The less expensive claw meat can be reddish-brown and is often used in mixed dishes such as soups, dips and appetizers.
Crab can be steamed, boiled, baked and fried (I only eat fried on very special occasions though). Soft-shell crabs are eaten whole, including the shell but otherwise just the claw or leg meat is eaten.
Crab makes a wonderful appetizer for parties and all kinds of get-togethers. You can bake it into mini-quiches or make crab cocktails. You can put out some chips and sliced veggie dippers and serve with Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip, or simply add crab meat to a favorite cream cheese dip. Here are some other appetizer ideas:
- Mini Crab Cakes with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
- Crab Canapés
- Crab-Stuffed Artichokes
- Crab-Stuffed Deviled Eggs
- Crab and Mango Toasties
- Curried Crab on Crackers
- Peruvian Crab Causa
For lunch or dinner, try these ideas:
- Stack crab meat, sliced avocado and sliced mango. Serve with light salad dressing and crusty bread or crackers.
- Sprinkle crab meat over a leafy green salad or make this Crab Salad with Lemon Dressing or this Summer Tomato and Crab Salad.
- Make Crab, Scallion and Tomato Quiche.
- Make a crab salad sandwich.
- Spread Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip on bread and eat with a green salad or a bowl of vegetable soup.
- Make Maryland Crab Cakes or these Crab Cakes with Fresh Corn and Spicy Mayo.
- Make crab bisque or this Quick Creamy Crab Soup. It’s a whole lot easier to make than it is to say!
- Make grain pilaf and add crab meat or try this Seafood Paella with Crab and Sugar Snap Peas.
- Add crab meat to homemade sushi rolls. Try these California Rolls.
- Make this wonderful Panzanella Salad with Crab, Goat Cheese and Tomato Vinaigrette.
- Make crab tacos.
If you don’t get your crab, do you get crabby? Got a good recipe? I’d love to know.