Best way to cook live dungees

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Big E, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. boutdoors

    boutdoors Member

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    Thats a good looking dinner. Back in the Cheasapeake bay the have the smaller Blue Crab and steam them live with lots of Old Bay.
     
  2. Stan Wright

    Stan Wright Member

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    The few times I've see them cooked (in Alaska and in Hilo at my in-laws house) ... they placed the live crabs in the pot of boiling water. In a kind of basket you could lift out. The crabs were placed in UP SIDE DOWN. After they were cooked a whole crab was placed on the plate UP SIDE DOWN. and the shell (body) was carefully removed so as not to spill any of the juices (shiru). Rice was added and mixed with all that juice and yellow stuff (fat?) Or you just ate it like a soup.
    then you enjoyed eating the legs. I guess it's a Japanese thing. LOL
     
  3. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    I went to High School and college in Maryland and have eaten many a blue crab. Those crabs are not only smaller but seem to have less foul tasting guts, or maybe the guts just taste better. If you steam Dungies whole all that stuff flavors the meat. It's a little strong for my taste.
     
  4. smole

    smole Member

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    Step one: Catch crabs, place in bucket(s) with saltwater from MA of catch. I usually use saltwater from MA 9.

    Step two: Transport to cook camp, drain some of the saltwater from the crab bucket(s) into boil vessel and begin to heat.

    Step three: I like to use a roofing hatchet, a beer and a piece of 3/4 inch plywood for this step. Grab a crab out of the bucket and flip him over on to the board so you are looking at his abdomen. With the hatchet in hand, use one swift motion to chop the crab in half from eyes to abdomen, death is quick. Gather the legs and claw from one side and twist upward and toward the front of the crab. Shake innards into waste bucket and pull off the gills. Repeat this with the other side of the crab and any remaining victims.

    Step four: Place crab halves into boiling saltwater and cook for ten minutes, I time this after the water comes back up to a gentle boil. Grab another beer.

    Step five: Remove crab from water after cooking and chill with ice for 45 minutes. I like to use a large cooler for this and typically keep the cooler at an angle with the drain open so the crabs don't sit in a pool of water.

    Step six: Eat too much. Serve with corn, a good loaf of crusty bread and some drawn butter with lemon.
     
  5. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    I steam them. Boiling just take the flavor out of the meat.
    Big pot. Bring 2"s of water to a rolling boil. Place a colander in upside down to keep um out of the water.Put them in with the legs facing out, head up. Cover and don't open for 8 mins. No more. Over cooking is just as bad as boiling. Give um a quick shot of cold water to clean and stop the cooking. I like a butter/saki dipping sauce.
     
  6. Achilles

    Achilles Active Member

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    I agree here. And the body meat is the best in my opinion. I don't throw anything out. You can also save/freeze the liquid for a great seafood stock.
     
  7. BikerBilly

    BikerBilly New Member

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    Ok lots of input on this! I'm a novice Fly fisherman but an expert crabber. I have caught hundreds of crab over the last few years I have been told many many times by many many people my crab are the best they have ever eaten. I clean my crab in the boat using the crab face on the edge of a 5 gallon bucket break in half method throw away the guts and gills keep the back shells until the boat is out of the water When you get your catch checked by the fish and wildlife folks they will fine you if they cant measure the back shells . I put the crab on ice until I get home. I boil water with pickling spice (about a half cup) rock salt (about a half cup) and a nice couple of shakes of old bay. Boil crab for 15 minutes. I will sometimes boil the crab with corn and potatoes if I do this I quarter the potatoes and put them in the water about 5 minutes before the crab and corn. Try this once and you will never cook crab whole or season just with saltwater again!!!
     
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  8. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    THAT'S why I needed that big pot/lid combo!!!
     
  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I whack a live one right between the eyes by grabbing the legs and swinging it down onto the corner of a table or the end of a 2x4. I discard the shell and guts, and pick off any guts/gills hanging to the halves before i throw 'em in the pot of boiling salted water for up to as long as 15 minutes.
    I don't cook a lot of crab. I think 15 minutes is often the recommended time for cooking a whole crab, but I know you can boil one, especially the cleaned halves for less time and still be OK. Kerry said 8 minutes, and he's still with us.
    So, does anyone know what's the lower recommended time that cooks the crab without under or overcooking it?
     
  10. mbowers

    mbowers Active Member

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    It looks like 20+min for whole crab and 15 min for a "cleaned half" crab. I've been doing around 8 minutes as well for halves and surviving fine. Most of my crabs get made into crab cakes so the meat gets cooked again in that case.

    I think this comment for lobster and imagine it applies to crab as well: Heat lobster for a period of time such that the thermal center of the product reaches a temperature adequate to coagulate the protein (FAO, 1978a).

    The temperature vs time charts show lobster reaches 200F after 6 mins or so and would expect similar for crab.

    Some detailed info here:

    http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/haccp/compendium/chapt03.htm#Cooking Processes
     
  11. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks for the link, mbowers. Looks like I can get away with 10-12 minutes on the cleaned halves.
     
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  12. Shapp

    Shapp Active Member

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    We cook all our crab in the field right after catching. Usually at some place with a water spikett for fresh water to clean. For cooking, we always use sea water and always throw them in whole and live into a pot of boiling water. As soon as they hit the water the boil stops but I start the timer for 15 minutes. The water will come back up to a boil in a couple minutes. So they really only boil for about 12. Take out and throw into cold fresh water in a bucket. A full 5 gallon bucket of crab will make the cold water instantly warm. So basically 30 seconds in that first bucket, then take out and put them all in a fresh bucket of cold water. They sit the coldwater until cool enough to clean without burning your hands. I use a 3 bucket method to clean in the field, 1 empty bucket and 2 full buckets of cold water. Crab are shucked into the empty bucket, then you have a first rinse bucket and then a second rinse bucekt. You can clean about a dozen dungies in the water cycle buckets before it gets to grungy, then swap these out for fresh water. All the guts, shells and rinse goes into the sea to feed the litter critters that feed the crab. a s the crab is cleaned it goes immediately on ice and immediately munched on or transported home for dinner. I think cooking whole crab in there tasty juices makes them taste significantly better than cleaning before cooking. We also and about a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the boiling water to keep the mung from bubbling over too much.

    Photos below from Siuslaw Bay this summer, crabbing in the outrigger canoe 2 pulls through 5 pieces of gear yielded 22 dungy keepers. Had to stop, could have kept about 5 dozen with the licenses we had and with the limit at 12 per person. We were camping so just had to stop at the limit we thought we could finish that night, and a crab feast it was! Mom requested a crabbing trip and crab feed for her 60th birthday, and the crab gods smiled on us:)
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