Paul Menta, Chef Owner of The Stoned Crab, shares his favorite tips for stone crab preparation.
1) When cracking stone crabs, don’t smash them! Light taps with something solid breaks the shell and lets you get a whole piece out.
2) Never ice fresh raw stone crabs or the meat sticks to the shell.
3) Fresh hot stone crabs are the holy grail of richness. Ask a friend with traps or as the fishermen bring them in; it’s worth the effort.
4) Stone crabs can release a claw for your pleasure and regrow another for theirs. They are truly one of the only sustainable seafoods in the ocean.
5) Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach, as stone crabs are packed with a lot of protein and you can fill up fast. Order slow.
6) It’s all about the sauce. Even though they are good alone, the dipping sauce really adds to the whole experience. Make your own and you’re a pro!
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons key lime juice or lime if you must 🙂
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar.
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup olive oil or mix half olive and have coconut
Use a food processor, blender or some really strong hands and a whisk to mix.
Add egg yolk, mustard, key lime juice and vinegar into you mixer or bowl.
Blend till mixed and slowly while mixing pour in oil until thick. Add salt to taste. Tip: the slower you go when mixing the oil, the better the mayo; if mixing by hand, have a friend do the oil. Add other spices or hot sauce to make it really good.
A Day in the Life of a Fisherman During Stone Crab Season
The first week of season, when we are setting gear, is the most competitive. It’s a mad rush to get our traps in the water as quickly as possible. To be successful, it helps to keep your traps clean and move them when necessary. When crabbing, I generally leave the dock a half hour before sunrise. I run anywhere from five minutes to 45 minutes to reach my traps. I always pull into the current so there is slack in the line when I pick up the buoy. I pull up the line of sixty traps, clearing the crabs, baiting, and resetting them. I then run back down current to the end of the next line and repeat. I usually pull between 300 and 400 traps by 4:00 and then run back to BSC Fisheries to unload. I let the traps soak for a week to ten days before pulling them again. I’m fishing 1,000 traps this season. I’m spoiled and will only eat the claws hot and fresh out of the pot. Just boil them for five minutes and enjoy. If it ain’t broke…