Live crab are normally feared by those that have never conquered them before. I think it got something to do with the big sharp claws that once clam down on any part of you, will never let go until it is dead or its claw chopped from its body.
I remembered a lady asking me at the wet market while I waited for the seller to pack my crabs, "Hard to kill?" To which I answered, "No, very easy! Just flip them over and use poke a sharp knife into their belly". The response I got, the most intensely disgusted scared face!
Well, I think that is alot more humane compared to Chef Wan when he showing Bobby Chin how to cook fragrant crab on Astro. He just put on some thick gloves, hold on to the live crab and snap the big claws from the crab. Next, he took a kitchen scissor and cut the legs off. And finally, peel off the shell. All this while the crab is very much ALIVE! I wonder if Astro edited out the shrieking of the crab!
Since we got crabs from the market again today and babe is looking for opportunities to test his new camera, decided to show you guys how I kill and prepare the crabs.
The crabs all tied up by the seller esp the claws! So, no possibility of snapping at you unless you untie it. Flip the crab over on its belly. I use a thong. You can use anything that can help to aid you to turn the crab over and hold on to it. Even a strong spatula is good enough. And if you are really brave, your hands!
Pludge the knife deep into the belly of the crab. That is the softest part of the exterior shell. Usually, if this is done right, it will be dead in less than a minute. (Well, almost dead!)
The murdered crab! You can see very clearly here that their claws are still tied up. I am not taking any chances until I am sure they are fully and truly dead!
Once confirmed its dead, grab the bottom part of the shell and the legs, peel the top and bottom away. With some muscle, it should peel away like the above. It can get 'stucked' abit but dont worry, just pull in opposite direction until the shell gives.
There are some sponge like material on the inside and you need to remove this. Some believe that this part of the crab will cause you food poisoning or worse. I use a rough kitchen scrubber to clean out the last bit that might stick pretty hard to the crab.
You will need to wash and clean the shell with the scrubber as well. Get rid of those 'white' thing in the shell. I usually leave the rest intake as I like the texture but some prefer to just get rid of all the inerts.
Since I have 4 medium size crab, I decided to cook two variety, i.e. (1) Stirfry crab with eggs and (2) Stirfry crab with dry scrimp paste and belacan.