If you tried crab legs meat, you must love it for its sweet and succulent taste. Although people usually eat crab legs in restaurants out of fear of preparing them, it is actually not that difficult to do, so read and find out how to cook crab legs – a unique appetizer for your guests.
First, it’s important not to make a mistake when choosing the meat. When you are buying crab legs, they shouldn’t smell like fish (if they do, they are old), they should be firm to the touch with easily movable joins, and they shouldn’t be thawed or they will lose their freshness. Buy the frozen or pre-cooked ones instead.
Now that you have them, you can prepare them in more that one way. You can steam them, boil them or bake them. Whichever way you choose, you won’t need more than 4 to 8 minutes to reheat them, if you have bought them already cooked.
Steaming is the most common method of cooking crab legs. In case you want to steam them, you will get white flesh meat with stronger sweet taste. However, you will lose some of the flesh when you cut it in twice. You need to put 2 cups of water in a steamer or a large pot and add some salt together with the herbs and spices you like.
Put the crab legs on the rack in the bottom of the pan and boil for about 6 minutes after the water starts to boil, or about 12 minutes if they are frozen. Just be careful not to overcook them if they have already been cooked, otherwise the texture of the meat will be lost and the flesh will be dry and hard. They are ready when they begin to smell sweet and get an orange-red colour.
An alternative to steaming them in water is steaming in beer. Try it!
If you choose to boil crab legs, the meat will stay in the shell, but it can get yellowish colour from the body juices and also it will be less sweet. In order to boil them, put water and sea salt or a tablespoon of vinegar into a big saucepan together with the seasonings of your choice, boil the water and put the legs inside. They will be ready after about 20 minutes of simmering on lower heat. When you remove them, rinse them and serve them hot.
To prepare them in the oven, put the already cooked crab legs parallel to one another in the baking plate so as not to touch at all, cover them with some butter and some lemon juice, sprinkle with a little salt and seasonings and bake at high temperature for about 14 minutes. Or put them in a shallow pan, add hot water and cover with foil. Bake at high temperature for about 10 minutes.
You can also put them into the microwave, cover them with damp paper and microwave for about 4 minutes.
When they are ready, dry them on the paper towel or a rack. You can open them using the nutcracker, a hammer, pliers, a knife or a fork, whichever is easier to you. You serve them with melted butter, in which you can dip the crab legs, or you can squeeze some lemon juice over them. A fresh garden salad and baked potatoes are also a good choice to have with the crab legs. Now all you have to do is enjoy their delicious taste.