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Fishbox Guide | How to Prepare a Live Brown Crab

Friday, March 24, 2017 : 3:40 PM

So you've landed one of our live brown crabs? Lucky you! Here's all you need to know so you can enjoy this delicious and versatile shellfish.


Our crabs come from the rough grounds of the Moray Firth where they are caught by traditional creel fishermen. The fishermen work small day boats, often single-handed.

Magnus used to fish for crabs and lobster out of Cromarty and this is where our Fishbox idea first started! 


The crab can't pinch your fingers so don't worry! The fishermen cut the pincer tendons on the boats just after they're caught at sea. 


Place your crab under a damp cloth in the bottom of the fridge. Do not immerse it in water as this will kill it. The crab will survive for a couple of days like this.

If your crab is not alive when you open your Fishbox then it'll still be fine to eat, provided you cook it straight away.

Once cooked, you can treat the meat as any cooked food and store for up to four days in the coldest part of your fridge.


There are many different schools of thought on how best to kill the crab. We think the best way is to pop them in the freezer for around 30 minutes.

This will slow down their metabolism to such a low level that they peacefully go to sleep and when they are cooked they're completely unconscious.


Put a large pan of water on to boil and add lots of salt. Take care to allow plenty of room for the crab and water displacement.

Once the water's boiling, carefully pop the crab into the pot. Put the lid on and boil for 8-10 minutes. Drain the water and allow to cool naturally, don't rinse the crab or you'll lose some of the natural juices.


Now you can remove the white meat and brown meat from the crab.The brown meat is really rich, tasty and creamy. The white meat is delicate and sweet.

They're quite different flavours but both are beautiful and fresh, and can be used in a variety of ways!

1. Pull off the two large claws and crack open with a rolling pin or the back of a heavy knife. Carefully pick out the meat, which is known as white meat.

2. Turn the crab shell upside down. Hold the shell down and grasp the small legs. Pull to remove the underneath of the crab, exposing the inside of the main shell where you'll find the brown meat. This varies in colour and texture but is all edible.

Ensure the gills or 'dead man's fingers' are removed - these are grey and feathery and are not edible. 

3. There is also some white meat in the shoulders of the small legs which can be picked out with the end of a small teaspoon. 

Don't forget about our recipes, we've got plenty of tasty ways to cook your crab here.

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