Shore crab bisque


by: Naomi

Turn the crab onto its back with its eyes facing you. Drive a thick skewer between the eyes into the center of the crab. Then lift up the tail flap and drive the skewer down into the center of the body. When the crab is dead its legs vvill go limp. Bring a large pan of heavily-salted vvater to the boil (i.e. 1/2 cup/150 g salt to every 10 pints/4.5 liters of vvater). Add the crab and bring back to a boil. Cook those up to 1 1/4 lb (550 g) for 15 minutes, those up to 2 lb (900 g) for 20 minutes, those up to 3 1/4 lb (1.5 kg) for 25 minutes, and any larger for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. The amount and type of meat you'll get will depend on the crab: Dungeness, for example, will yield more chunk or lump meat than blue crab. Shown here is a European brown crab, which contains both white and creamy brown meat. If the meat is put back into the shell, the crab is described as "dressed".


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serves: 4

2 lb (900 g) shore crabs or ( other small crabs, washed)

1/4 cup (50 g) butter

1/4 cup (50 g) each minced onion, carrot, and celery

1 leaf bay

2 tablespoons Cognac

4 tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato paste

5 tablespoons dry white wine

1 sprig of tarragon

7 1/2 cups (1.75 liters) Fish Stock

4 tablespoons heavy cream

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Facts
Shore crab bisque

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 377

  • Total Fat: 11.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.6 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 155.4 mg
  • Sodium: 1411.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 8.2 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
  •     Sugars: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 50.9 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Put the crab back-shell down on a board and break off the claws.

2.  Break off the legs, taking care to remove the knuckle joint too.

3.  Lift up and break off the tail flap.

4.  Push the blade of a large knife between the body and the back shell and twist the blade to release it.

5.  Place your thumbs on either side of the body section and press firmly upward until it comes away.

6.  Pull the feathery-looking gills, known as the "dead man's fingers", off the body and discard.

7.  Scoop out any brown meat from the center of the body section using a teaspoon and keep it separate from the white meat.

8.  Cut the body section in half using a large knife.

9.  Remove the white meat from all the little channels using a crab pick.

10.  When all the meat has been removed you should be left with a hollow and much lighter piece of shell.

11.  Crack the shell of the claws with the back of a knife and remove the meat. Remove the thin piece of bone concealed within the meat of the pincers. Break the shell of the legs with crackers and hook out the white meat with the crab pick.

12.  Put the back shell on a board with the eyes and mouth facing you. Press on the little piece of shell located just behind the eyes until it snaps. Lift out and discard the mouth piece and stomach sac.

13.  Scoop out any brown meat (this is sometimes quite wet and more solid) from the back shell using a spoon and add it to that from the body.

14.  Bring a large pan of well-salted water to a boil. Add the crabs, bring back to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain. Let them cool slightly, then chop up roughly with a large knife.

15.  Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based pan and add the minced vegetables and the bay leaf. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes vvithout letting the vegetables brown.

16.  Add the crabs and the Cognac, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.

17.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, torragon, and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

18.  Briefly blend the soup in batches until the shells have broken down into pieces about the size of your fingernail.

19.  Strain the soup through a conical strainer into a clean pan, pressing out as much liquid as you can with the back of a ladle. Then pass it once more through a very fine sieve.

20.  Bring the soup back to a boil. Reduce a little to concentrate the flavor, it necessary, then lower the heat. Add the cream, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, and season to taste with some salt and pepper.

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