How to prepare cooked crab
1. Twist off the large claws where they join the body and set aside.
2. Hold the bristly legs with a cloth to protect your hands and twist off from the body.
3. Turn the crab up on to its nose. Use your thumbs to pull the carapace, where the legs were attached, away from the main shell
4. Continue until the carapace is completely detached from the shell.
5. Turn the crab on to its back and remove the bristly mouth parts.
6. Remove the air sac and any membranes inside the shell.
7. Remove any other pieces of cartilage and discard.
8. Break off and remove the feathery gills or “dead man’s fingers” from either side of the carapace. These should be discarded.
9. Use a heavy sharp knife to cut the carapace in half down the centre.
10. Use a skewer to pick out any meat from the honeycomb of cartilage and put into a bowl.
11. Break the claws from their leg sections and strike each with the back of a large heavy knife to crack the shell. Take care not to crush the meat inside.
12. You should now be able to remove the claw meat in one piece by breaking the shell off the meat. Insert the skewer into the leg sections and pick out all the white meat inside. Repeat with all of the legs, cracking the shell if necessary.