When preparing crab
Source: Philstar/Ernest Reynoso Gala
it’s best to cook it by plunging it in boiling water alive or slowly freezing it in the freezer just before cooking to make it “sleep.”
Less stress allows the meat to remain tender and sweet. In Chinese cooking, it is continuously tossed in a wok over a high-pressure stove to help maintain its soft texture.
A crab is almost done when its shell has changed color to pink, and removing the gills is a must because of its unwanted bitter flavor.
The choicest meat is found in the back-fin area, while the yellow fat is collected and later processed and bottled to make “taba ng talangka” or crab-fat sauce. Pressing the soft joints near the claw and near the eye for fat helps in checking for good quality, as many sellers add water to make it weigh more on the scale.
Overcooking will make crabmeat tough and stick to the shell, making it flaky and dry to the touch. Cooking it correctly will make it moist and juicy, making for an utterly luxurious treat.
Textured cream sauces go well with its delicate flesh, though with this splendid ingredient, the cook needs to do very little else as the combination of sweet and salty is all too tempting.
Fried, steamed, baked, or boiled, crabs have great presence at the dinner table, gently reminding us all that eating is one of life’s biggest pleasures