Catching and Cooking the Red Rock Crab (aka Charles)


On the second to last day of crab season, crab license in hand (or rather, around our necks), we set out on our first ever solo crab expedition. Technically, we weren’t just ourselves – we were a veritable mosquito fleet: a canoe, a 10 foot Livingston and a sea kayak. All on the waters of the South Puget Sound, just off our cabin.

Tongs on a Crab
Tongs on a Crab

We bought a little motorboat a little while ago, thinking we’d take that out crabbing. But, we turned out to be more canoe people, so we decided to see if we could haul up crab pots from our 17 foot Ouzel. The expedition was quite successful, we didn’t tip in the hauling up process, and the aluminum motor boat is now for sale, after this successful expedition.

Crab in a Pot
Crab in a Pot

We had no idea how successful we’d be, so were delighted to learn that red rock crab apparently are quite amenable to crawling into crab pots in the waters right off our neighborhood beach. You can tell a red rock crab by its larger claws and the black tips. Alice, Becky, Charles and Darlene all entered the crab pot. All but Charles were too small and got tossed back.

Freshly Cooked
Freshly Cooked

To cook your crab, boil a large pot of water. Toss in the crab and close the lid. Let it cook for eight to ten minutes. Look for the color to turn bright red to get an idea of done-ness.

Rockfish Crab with Wine
Rockfish Crab with Wine

Pull the crab out with tongs and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Turn the crab on its back and pull off the undershell. Now, you can easily pull off its back shell. Rinse the crab under running cold water to remove the guts. Serve!

Beautiful Rockfish Crab
Beautiful Rockfish Crab

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

3 thoughts on “Catching and Cooking the Red Rock Crab (aka Charles)”

  1. What an interesting coincidence that this is your post. Last night I had a very vivid and long dream that consisted of the Seattle Foodshed forcing me to befriend frogs (which consisted of naming them and giving them treats) with the vicious intent of making them into dinner. Try and interpret that !?!

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