Stone Crab Claw Storage and Preparation
Description: Stone crab claws are high on the list of favored Florida seafood. These crabs have the unusual ability to regrow their claw when harvested by a trapper (only taking the largest claw). The separation always occurs at one of the joints to protect the crab from bleeding. During the life of the crab, the same appendage may be generated up to eight times. Claw regeneration to harvestable size is often within 12 months so they are considered a renewable resource.
Nutritional Value: A cooked 3 ounce portion of crab meat contains 60 calories, no fat, 15 gm protein, 45 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, and 4 gm calcium.
When you have received your shipment of Fresh Florida Stone Crabs, please take the following steps to preserve the freshness of your shipment:
- Please remove the items from the sealed plastic bags.
- Rinse the items under cold running water.
- Pat dry and place in a bowl and cover with a clean damp towel.
- Keep refrigerated. Stone Crabs should remain below 40º F.
If your shipment is left in the sealed plastic bags, it cannot “BREATHE” and will deteriorate at a more rapid rate. If refrigerated properly your stone crabs can be kept for 2-3 days. We recommend using your product as soon as possible.
Before cracking, place the claw on a cutting board or other hard surface. Then place a plastic bag over the claw (this will keep from splattering crab juice). Take the mallet and lightly crack the claw and knuckles. Next, peel the shells from the claw meat and the meat in the two knuckles. Please note that there is a hard center membrane inside the meat, so when biting into the meat be careful and watch for shells. To enhance the sweet flavor, squeeze lemon or lime juice over the meat, and dip into our original recipe mustard sauce. Just remember to crack only as many as you can eat at one time. Once cracked, the claws will not hold well for a long period of time.
Stone crabs are cooked before shipping and do not need to be cooked again before serving. Most people choose to eat them cold, however some people may want to reheat and serve with melted butter. Remember, all you are trying to do is warm them, not cook them. If you use too much heat or cook too long, you may ruin the flavor.
You may reheat crabs three ways (be sure they are thawed if they have been frozen).
- In an oven. Place on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 6-10 minutes. It is easier to crack claws before heating, but this will reduce amount of time necessary to heat them. Medium claws heat for the shorter time, larger ones up to the full time. It is better to err on the side of underdone than overdone.
- Steam over boiling water 2-5 minutes. Steam then crack, but be careful, claws are good conductors of heat.
- You may microwave, but this is the trickiest method. They can be overdone in seconds.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THEY BE CRACKED FIRST! They could explode otherwise. Crack claws, place on a damp paper towel on a plate, cover with another damp towel. Reheat in 10 second increments up to 30 seconds. You may need to rotate during the process, be careful.