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Anyone know about "crab butter?"

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My father in law makes this amazingly tasty sauce out of the "remains" of crabs. We've never really known what exactly is in the sauce as he likes to keeps his secrets. But we have some fresh caught crab from a neighbor & he is out of town so won't be coming over to eat w/ us & make his "butter". So we decided to google it but can't find anything at all - weird. Does this mean he is making the sauce out of the "waste" - which he has always promised us he isn't...or is there really such a thing & is it something we should be eating??

Here's what we know about how he makes it.
he scrapes out the inside of the shell into a bow & adds lemon juice, evoo, green onions & salt. As far as we know he does't use anything else out of the crab.

Then he mixes it all up & we spoon it onto sourdough while we eat our crab.

Anyone heard about making this type of thing?

Thank you!

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  1. I've only seen this done twice in my life.

    Both occasions it was basically the crab roe and internal organs that is mixed with an oil/fat.

    Had one with clarified butter that was alright. One that was made and then chilled into a "compound butter" was even tastier.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shaogo

      That's exactly what I was going to say...

    2. i do this but i've heard it called Crab Mustard.

      1. Are you talking about the yellow stuff in the corners of the opened shell? I love it, but hear it is pure cholesterol. I've never heard of anyone dressing it up like you say. Sounds good, though!

        1. I have had kani miso which is the viscera or guts of the crab (very delicious), but what you mention sounds more like something I read on the chubbyhubby (http://www.chubbyhubby.net/blog/?p=584). They refer to it as crab fat and say that it is the roe or "the coral-colored blubbery goodness you scoop out from underneath the shell and in between the body cavity of your crustacean friend." It sounds very decadent.

          1. Thank you everyone! Well my husband couldn't figure out what to do so he didn't do it. He said the insides of the crab looked gross! The craw was good tho - but just had to have french bread w/ plain ole butter ;)
            One of these days I'm going to have to watch my father in law while he's making it. I can tell you this - it is REALLY good!

            1. From a web page about Dungeness Crabs:
              "The yellow mush, sometimes called crab butter, is the hepatopancreas, the digestive gland, equivalent to our liver and pancreas. It is used for energy storage and the secretion of digestive enzymes. Some people consider this a delicacy, but if it is from crabs taken from polluted areas, it may contain contaminants such as PCBs or heavy metals."