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green crab stock safe to eat?

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I went all-out yesterday and made a crab quiche with fresh, live rock crabs. I threw the top hulls and most of the legs away, but saved the inner bodies and some of the meatier legs and used them to make a crab and shrimp stock tonight using five crab bodies, some legs, a handful of shrimp shells, veggies and aromatics (3 celery sticks, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, fresh ginger, bay leaf, saffron, pepper flakes, a touch of brandy, pepper, salt).

I've made chicken stocks many times before, but this is my first time using so much crab. So my question is this--is it normal for the stock to be so green? I didn't have much saffron, so the broth isn't very yellow. I tried to scrub the crabs well before I steamed them the first time, but there was still algae or greenish growth between the joints and cracks. I even rinsed the crab and shrimp shells several times again until the rinse water ran clear before putting them in the pot. Still, I think that algae might have colored (and flavored) the stock. Is it safe to eat? I got the crabs in RI, if that helps anything. If it's safe, I plan to freeze it and use it for risotto later = green risotto? :)

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  1. I am not really sure, but did you add a lot of the liver? The yellowy-green stuff? Could that have discolored your stock?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Procrastibaker

      I tried to scrape out most of the yellow-green stuff, though I kept as much of the white stuff as I could. It's ok. I've decided on the "when in doubt, throw it out" mantra. I froze the stock overnight, and when I took it out the next day one of the pyrex dishes wasn't even frozen all the way through and it had a weird, unappetizing odor. I'm sure not making stock with rock crabs again!

      1. re: inibble

        Ewww.. Sounds like you definitely made the right call. Seafood is not something to mess around with!

    2. Agreed throw out!

      1. Shellfish stock should only be boiled for a very short time. Did you treat it like chicken and let it go for hours?

        2 Replies
        1. re: SteveG

          Oh, I guess I did. I let it simmer on very low for about 1.5 hours. I didn't realize shellfish stock shouldn't be cooked as long as chicken stock. I always think "reduce! reduce!" with stocks. How long would you recommend simmering a shellfish stock (maybe I'll use lobster shells next time)?

          1. re: inibble

            Blue crabs are best, but really any will do.

            Roast your crabs first. This gives your stock more depth of flavor. Roast @ 350 for about 30 mins. Add to your pot with your aromatics and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 45 mins. Let cool and strain through a fine mesh.