Delicate and delightful, crab meat has undergone an edgy makeover in modish menus, giving a rather ritzy spin to the shell special. From grilled blue crab, soft shelled crab bhajia to the Varli crab thali—the choices are mindboggling.  

“While eating a crab can be fun, the most challenging aspect is cleaning it. The shell needs to be carefully separated from the meat,” says brand chef Momin Faqi, of restobar Kode, Mumbai. As the meat is soft and delicate, to retain the flavours, chefs need to make the use of the cooking methods that are compliant with the complexion of the crab dish. Roasting or grilling crab is usually the favoured way to go

While there are a multitude of varieties available in the shell meat, blue crab is a hot pick for chefs across the world. Says chef Sahil Singh, of pan Asian eatery, Tygr, Mumbai, “I prefer the king crab, or the blue crab due to the sweetness of the meat as they come from the coldest waters. You can play around with many flavours when using this meat. For example, I have come up with Phetchaburi Styled Grilled Crab with Thai herbs and Ginger Chilli Sauce which is a piquant makeover of the sweet meat.” 

Of course, what adds to the appeal of the seafood special is its low fat and folate-rich content. Says chef Vikramjit Roy of The Wine Rack, “The blue swimmer crab, green and black mud crabs, soft shell crabs, and the Alaskan king crab leg are fabulous varieties, owing to their rich umami, sweet and luscious taste.” 

Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard

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