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Can I make anything from one Dungeness crab carcass?

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I bought a crab a little over a week ago and after picking out the meat threw the carcass in the freezer. It was two pounds and I have limited patience digging crab meat out of the shell, so there's some meat left. Is there anything I can do with it?

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  1. crab bisque? maybe add some shrimp shells if you want to add volume.

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    1. Filipinos make a beautiful dish of crab meat combined with pork that is baked within the shell itself. Think of it as a spicier and more visually interesting take on pork-and-crab dumplings.

      1. One of the ethereally light Vietnamese soups based on crab wash.

        1. Place your carcass in a medium hot oven (250F), leave door open, let completely dry, will take about 6 - 8 hours.
          Crush as fine as possible using a mallet.
          Place crushed shells in casserole with one pound butter and water to cover, simmer for an hour, strain through sieve twice and once more through a cheesecloth, discard shells, refrigerate all liquid, butter will float to top and harden. Remove butter discard water. This butter now is Crab Butter and can be used for a roux makeing Crab Soup

          1. You could easily make a great seafood stock with it. I have some big crab leg shells in the freezer, saved to make a stock for king crab risotto (on our menu next week).

            1. If the shell still has "the yellow stuff", either spoon it out and add to a scrambled egg and cook, or heat the shell and crack an egg in it, then mix/scramble.

              Some call the "yellow stuff" tomally, some call it crab butter.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Alan408

                Great idea. Now I want to buy another crab just to try that.

                This was a cracked Dungeness crab so as tempting as that Filipino dish sounds, it wasn't possible.

                Since it seemed stock was the first step ... that crab butter tip came after I already made the stock ... stock it was.

                I based it on this recipe

                4-6 cups shellfish shells, from shrimp, lobster, and/or crab
                1/2 cup dry white wine
                1 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
                1 carrot, roughly sliced or chopped
                1 celery stalk, roughly sliced or chopped
                2 Tbsp tomato paste
                2 sprigs of thyme
                Several sprigs parsley
                1 bay leaf
                10-15 whole peppercorns
                2 teaspoons salt

                I had a box of organic chicken broth that was close to going bad, so I threw that in. Tomato paste just didn't sound right. Didn't have thyme. My version ...

                The remains of my 2lb crab
                Chicken broth and water to cover with an inch of liquid
                1/2 cup dry white wine
                1/2 yellow onion chopped
                1 sliced carrot
                1 sliced celery stalk
                Several sprigs parsley
                Broken pieces of bay leaf from bag I just bought.
                12 whole peppercorns

                I didn't roast and contrary to directions I boiled it by mistake and forgot once and stirred it.

                When people think I kid about not cooking, here's how I mistakenly boiled the stock.

                My stove has tiny letters that have faded. I didn't have my glasses on. The dials are counter-intuitive ... high is to the right and low is to the left.

                I haven't used anything expect a microwave is so long, I guessed. All went well up to the point it was close to boiling. I turned it accidently to a higher temp and off I went to do other things. It started to boil .. furiously ... thinking I was turning it down ... I turned it higher ... even more furiuous boiling ... clouds of steam coming from the pot ... this cycle continued for a while till I figured the stove dials were the opposite of what I guessed

                I neglected to mention that initially I turned the wrong dial on and almost set on fire the empty teflon frying pan my S/O left on another burner.

                Anyway, boiling didn't seem to hurt anything. I strained and have a few containers in the freezer for some of the dishes suggested above ... or others.

                I couldn't stand to throw out the carrots, onion and celery, so I made a bowl of chowder with that adding a small potato, some corn, a leftover tomato, a piece of crumbled bacon and some freshly chopped parsley on top as a garnish.

                I toasted a piece of sourdough and had a glass of the wine with it that I used in the stock. It was excellent.

                I'm thinking risotto for some risotto or googling for those Vietnames soup recipes. If I can find a bisque that uses milk rather than cream I might try that.

                Gratuitous info from Chow ingrediants on Dungeness

                "Locale and Season: Dungeness crab is found from Alaska to southern California. In Alaska and British Columbia, peak season is late spring and early summer; Washington and Oregon follow, and California is later."

                San Franciscans tend to tell people to avoid crab out of season (Nov-Dec). However, it seems in season year round depending on the local.