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Where can I buy female crabs and crab roe in LA?

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I was recently in Charleston and fell in love with She Crab soup. I would love to make it myself but the trick is, the recipe calls for female crabs and crab roe. I went to 99 Ranch Market the other day and there were tons of live crabs but the guy said none of them were female. Is it illegal to catch female crabs perhaps? Anyone have any recommendations?

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  1. Yes, it is illegal to take female crabs. That is Dungeness in California.

    1. You were probably provide the wrong information. I've bought female crabs before at the 99 Ranch Market. It probably is illegal to take female dungeness, I have always seen male dungeness sold. As far as any other crabs, they do sell female blue crabs, and also female rock crabs. Just look on the bottom of the crabs, at the apron. The male usually has a thin apron, Y-shaped and the female has a triangular apron. As far as the crab roe, the availability varies during the months of the year. This maybe an old wife's tales, but try not to buy crabs on the months without the letter "r".

      You can get blue crabs at any filipino markets. And also at Redondo Beach Pier, Quality Seafood sells local, Santa Barbara, and blue crabs. They also separate male and female crabs.

      1. Thanks for the tip! I'll check out the Redondo Pier!

        1. Crab roe: try a Japanese market near So Coast Plaza. Don't remember the name but it is on Paularino. Very fresh fish. Has lots of different fish roe.

          Live blue crab often has roe. It is sold in the plastic packaging section where the crab is open/showing the roe. Catching female crab means no future crabs...not sure why we still see it on sale. Maybe smaller crab ok?

          1. I see packages of female crab (with roe) at the Korean market all the time. Not sure exactly where you are, but the Hannam Chain market on Olympic and New Hampshire (in Koreatown) has a one of the better seafood sections.