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first time crab buyer beware

babyfork | Jan 13, 200305:12 PM

I got a nice tip from a previous poster about cheap live crab at a market near 23rd and Mission. It's still $2.49 a pound by the way. Anyway, when I got there a lady was putting crabs into a large tank packed with crabs. From watching for a few seconds I could see that the crabs she was putting in were definitely alive and kicking. I asked her for three, she put them in a bag and I went home. I'd never cooked a live crab before so I grabbed my West Coast Seafood cookbook by Jay Harlow to make sure I had my cooking times straight. As I was reading I noticed that he says to make sure you don't get a listless or dead crab out of the tank. So I was sure bummed when I opened the bag and the crabs appeared to be dead. One moved very feebly, but the others were dead. The 2 dead ones were also missing a bunch of claws. I ended up cooking all 3, but I only ate the one that was just almost dead cause the others tasted a bit funky. Anyway, the moral of the story is to make sure you really see what you're getting. I naively thought the women was giving me nice live crabs, when instead she gave me the ones that no one else probably would have taken.

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