Step 1 : Removing the Arpon
Usually, the crabs we get here would have its mandibles (the mouthparts at the front) removed . All the more better. Now, to what we call the APRON.
Flip the crab over. You'll see a triangular part on the underside near the rear of the crab That is the crab's abdomen .(called the APRON) with the excretory and reproductive organs, and you don't want to eat that , so get your nails into the crack and pry the abdomen open.
Inside, see that there's many loosely attached white coloured things that don't look like meat. Those are the crab's gills, which are obviously not good for eating, so get them all off.
(Apron and the gills removed and cleaned)
Step 2 : Removing the Carapace
Chop off the last segments at the end of the legs (the crab foot/toe). You dont need those either. (left side image above)
Carapace is the back of the crab,and we remove it by sticking our thumb into the hole left from removing the apron and lifting up firmly. The shell will detach from the body with some guts attached. Remove and discard the leaf-like, spongy gills from either side of the body. Rinse out the greenish-brown guts (image on the right hand side above, with the carapace removed)
Step 3 : Seperate the legs and the claws
Now twist the leg at the joints to break it into parts.
and the next is to cut the body into half, at the centre, halfwise.
Rip off the smallaer claws. U keep it. Wash all the cut parts thoroughly in running water.
that the cleaning part is done..you are literally, more than half way through the process....phew !
A L M O S T D O N E !!!
Cook them in enough water with salt and pepper .
Drain the stock and keep the cooked meat for future use.
And what ended up of the stock was a quick simple soup. Basically, its just some veggies and noodles added into it.
Into a wok, goes a tbsp or two of olive oil.
Saute some garlic, fine julian cut carrot, sweet corn, cooked noodles (which i had beforehand-some lefotver, to be honest).
Once the carrtos are tender, add in the stock.
I didnt go for much additives, as i wanted the crab flavour to stay. Some hot and spiced vinegar, pepper powder and salt. Thats all that went it.
Mix some corn flour in water and add to the boiling soup, stirring well..to thicken.
Serve hott !
Egg, chicken, cabbage, soya sauce... anything could go in. Feel free...