Fish and seafood Recipes Recipes for special occasions

How to cook a spider crab and other seafood. Open, prepare and present.

How to cook a spider crab and other seafood. Open, prepare and present.


  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 10 / person

How many of you like seafood? Well, with today’s recipe you are going to hallucinate. I have been fortunate to have in my kitchen a spider crab of more than 2 kilos from one of the best places in Galicia to eat seafood: O Grove .

The female spider crab (Maja squinado) is perhaps the most famous of all, it became fashionable for a few years, although the male spider crab is not far behind. As for flavor, I assure you that spider crab is also very delicious , in fact, at Christmas at my mother’s house, spider crab is usually eaten. They usually come fuller, although the spider crab these days are about to spawn, so they come with  “peepholes” or “corals” , which are the uncoiled reproductive gonads with which they will produce the eggs or corals, which are also exquisite . Either one or the other, if you like seafood, with this product you will be fully successful in these coming dates.

My recommendation is that you buy seafood from Galicia , the truth is that you can see the difference with the French spider crab , with a much paler color and shorter legs than the Galician one. If you are thinking of cooking spider crab or spider crab for Nadal, I advise you to buy it now, it is the best date since the catch season started in November and you already have the best spider crab in the world at our disposal. Cook the spider crab as I explain and freeze it, you will save a paste . You can eat seafood for Christmas but you have to be careful, as with lamb or some fish that have not yet risen in price.

Seafood cooking

Whenever we are going to cook spider crab or spider crab , and in general any shell shell that is alive  , sea ox, lobster, crabs or crawfish, we must take into account that it moves and will resist when handling it. We have to be careful of the tongs and above all think that it is going to be very delicious, because I always get a little juicy about cooking the seafood friend (also the spider crab makes some small noises that are not pleasant), think that will be more friends in our bandullo. I am going to give you some advice so that you do not suffer too much and that the result is perfect.

  1. We put in a large saucepan abundant salted water (about 50 g of coarse salt per liter). We take the spider crab from the back to avoid having problems with the clamps, in this case there is not too much problem, but if your finger gets caught by a lobster or a sea ox it will leave you pretty. We caught it by the shell from the bottom and into the casserole.
  2. We start with cold water, we put it to heat and so the animal will not suffer as much, it will die of heat. We also ensure that its legs do not come off and that water enters the shell. As soon as the water boils it only has to cook 12 minutes and we will have the seafood ready. All the time that it remains of more it goes alone to the detriment of its flavor and texture. Remember that the cooking times depend on the sizes, it is not the same to cook a crab of 2 kilos as in this case than a 1 kilo (with 8-10 minutes more than enough).

And you already have your instructions to make the best Galician seafood in your homes, a luxury.

How to prepare it for eating: Open, prepare and present.

For indicated dates the best thing is to have the perfect table and with the seafood already presented and ready to eat. I explain the step by step the easiest way to prepare the spider crab to take it to the table and that everyone can enjoy this delicious delicacy from Galicia.

  1. Once cooked and tempered (in this way the meat will be a little more compact and tight), we remove the shell from the “belly”, which distinguishes males from females (as you see in the video, from the minute 1:30). We rip out what the intestine is and throw it away.
  2. We tear off the legs and break them with a hammer, with dry and measured blows so as not to crush them. We just want to make the guest’s job easier, so you don’t have to put together a show to eat this tasty, yet laborious part.
  3. With the hand or with the knife we ​​pry the edge of the shell and separate it from the rest of the spider crab, once opened, you will see all the coral, meat and seafood liquids. We remove from the body that the gills (some bags that are on the sides and that contain sand) with a knife, this part is not eaten. And all the white meat that is stuck to the body we carefully remove it with a knife and return to the shell.
  4. We separate the tongue that is at eye level (in the video from minute 3:15, I have done it with a hammer but it is better to do it with a mace if you have at home, it can also be done with the fingers but usually be quite firm, you have to do strength). There is the brain and a bitter part called the green gland.
  5. We have to cut the body into three pieces, which is where the most meat is. It is best to use a large and heavy knife, we split the cells (they look quite clear, they are white, hard and they are the extension of the legs) in three parts, following the marks where the legs started.
  6. And it would only remain to present it in a fountain, the shell in the middle and to the sides the spider crab meat legs and cells, a true spectacle. I think that to eat it you don’t need advice, just delicious.

Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog, I assure you that you will find a lot of ideas to make yours much happier.

Tips and recommendations

  • Who is tastier, the male or the female? They say that the females, as much in the case of the spider crabs as for example in the cows, are richer. Although the sailors, who must be the ones who know the most about the subject, prefer the males (the meat of the claws and legs is usually much tastier). What is true is that the females usually come with more quantity than the males, since they usually carry corals and their shape is more beautiful. Although at the beginning of the season the females are not as full as later, since they have just spawned, a process in which they lose part of their meat. Be it one or the other, what is clear is that we must take quality seafood, its flavor will be finer and tastier.
  • How to give more flavor to your seafood when cooking? Buy dried seaweed, I recommend sea lettuce, one of the most common that you can already find in almost any supermarket or large area.
  • When you cook a recipe where you want to give it more flavor to the sea , such as a stew, soups … you can directly incorporate the dehydrated algae in the casserole since they are hydrated at the same time as they are cooked. But to cook the seafood as it will be a short time, it is best to hydrate them first with cold water with a little salt for half an hour, then add it to the cooking water.
  • How do we freeze it? After cooking the seafood we must let it rest at normal temperature for half an hour, covering the seafood with a cotton cloth. We put it in a special insulated bag for freezing so that it does not catch any flavor or strange odors, so we will have the seafood with that special shine and that perfect little point to eat on that special day.
  • What if we buy it frozen?  Whenever we buy frozen seafood, it is advisable to let it defrost as slowly as possible, that is, inside the fridge for a day. Once completely defrosted we follow the presentation steps that I have explained previously.
  • I have included a comment by Marta Carreira García that I found super interesting, her recommendations are inherited from her uncle who is dedicated to the commercialization of fish and seafood from the Ribeira fish market, a business that is already in the third generation, so something yes knows about these topics (Thank you Marta).  “The spider crabs“ kill ”them with wine vinegar before cooking them, it is as simple as putting a good trickle in their mouths (watch how they are held, your instructions on this are more than correct) and in a few moments you will see that“ they faint ”, his legs open and goodbye. Now they can go to the pot, they will be less time in the water since this way we cook them directly in boiling water and they will not release the legs or try to lift the lid of the pot as they do when they are alive. We save the animal suffering … My second recommendation is about conservation to freeze them: When they are taken out of the water, you have to have some clean, cotton kitchen towels. Remove the bug, place it upside down on the rag to drain and cool, and once cold, wrap them well in the same rag making a package. Then the crab “mummified” with its rag is put in a plastic bag with airtight closure or, failing that, in a well-attached plastic bag and in the freezer. When you want to defrost, it is released from the plastic and left to defrost in its rag shroud until the moment of making it. They are magnificent! ”

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