by Jarrod Day
Mud crabs are certainly one of Australia’s most tasty crabs and while they are found in the northern part of the country, those taking a holiday to the north, should at some point go on a crabbing mission.
With a handful of mudcrabs like this, you just want to devour them immediately.
Like all of the tastiest seafood’s available, it is always a mission to clean, cook and eat them. But at the end of the day, if you’re willing to go through the rigmarole of doing so, you’ll be pleasantly happy with a belly full of yummy crab.
After lifting the pots the hard work really begins.
Cleaning mud crabs is quite easy, but it is the catching and dispatching part of the equation that can be dangerous.
A mud crab has two very big and strong claws. They are so strong in fact that they can crush your finger, hand or foot should it grab you. Instantly you’ll be in excruciating pain and it is best to break off the top or bottom pincer to release the grip. Should you pull the entire arm off; the grip will still be in place. When ever your catching mud crabs, always be careful you really don’t want to be caught out with one of these nasty critters holding onto your finger.
Some juicy specimines there, now to get them out.
So you have caught some mud crabs and now whish to cook them. First you must get them out of the pot.
To do so, lift the pot and shake it until they fall out on the boats deck. If they don’t, you may want to coax them out with a thick stick or other object.
Once the crabs are out (one at a time), you can pin them to the floor with a stick and grab the rear legs. To do this, move in quickly from behind, place your index finger on the top of the shell and hold the last pair of legs. Once you have a firm grip, you can place them into an ice slurry in an ice box.
Cleaning Muddy’s is quite easy, if they are still alive try to pin down using a solid item such as a small baseball bat or other item.
Holding the back claws, use a bat or something similar to pin them down.
Pin them up against something solid like the back of a bait board to keep the claws away from your fingers.
Holding the tail, push the head into a solid flat object pinning them still.
With a firm grip, pull the tail up and with your thumbs under the tail push forward separating the shell from the carapace.
Force your thumbs into the rear of the abdomen.
Keep pushing forward to remove the shell from the carapace.
Quickly, lift the tail pulling off the shell.
With both hands, grab either side of the crab holding tight the claws and fold the crab in half downwards to break the underside.
Hold the legs in both hands and fold backwards breaking the underbody.
Place on the edge of something sharp and break the body in half.
On the corner of something, break the legs in two seperating them.
Once the crab is in two, clean the inside removing the gills and organs.
Take each leg section, wash, cook and eat.
After the crab is cleaned it is ready to be boiled and eaten.
Mud crabs are very delicious but there is very little meat in them compared to other crabs around the country. If you haven’t caught mud crabs before, I suggest you get some pots and give it a go, one taste and you’ll want more.