It’s sweet, delicious, and easy to do.

By Southern Living Editors
Updated March 24, 2021
Advertisement

If you're lucky enough to have a fresh catch, it's time to take advantage of crab season. Diners new to blue crab may not know exactly how to tackle this dish that requires a little bit of manual labor. Don't worry - it's well worth the effort. Here's what you need to know about eating blue crab this season.

How to Eat Blue Crab

You'll want to purchase 1 pound of crab per person when eating blue crab. Once the crabs are cooked and they have a little bit of seasoning on them, we're going to take the legs off the crabs. They should be easy to twist off. When removing the legs, you'll want to have a work surface that's easy to clean up. Throw some newspaper down to aid with the clean-up. Set the claws aside because that's the best part.

After the legs are removed, you're going to turn the crab over. With the crab inverted, you'll want to remove the apron, also known as the tail flap. Sometimes it's easiest just to take a knife and pull it up. Discard it once you've taken it off. By removing the apron, you've made a perfect pocket for your fingers to get in between the crab and break it apart. Insert your thumb under the shell by the apron hinge and pry off the top shell. Discard the shell after it's been separated.  

Inside you should see lots of crab meat. Some people are a little intimidated by the green stuff that's in there. You can use it as a seasoning, but if you don't want to eat it you can throw it away.

Next, you'll want to clean the crab. Pull away the inedible gray gills, also known as the dead man's fingers, located on both sides of the crab and discard them along with the internal organs. After discarding them, you want to break the crab in half so you can start to see the meat. Use your fingers and pull the sides apart and remove the lump crab meat. You can pick and eat at the same time — it's delicious!

When it comes to the claws, which we haven't forgot about, sometimes it's easy to pop the claw and then pull the meat out and eat it. You can also take a pair of scissors and cut into the claw to reveal the meat. Be wary of the cartilage inside the claw and make sure to pull it out when you're eating. Alternatively, you can crack the claws and remove meat with a small cocktail fork. Continue with each leg to get all the meat.

For your next family party or get together, enjoy some crab and don't forget the napkins.