Everything But the Shell: A Guide to Eating Brown Crab

After a bit of a howler of a winter, it looks like the weather’s turned around and is becoming a bit friendlier. The lads on the crab boats will be out at Lambay Island (a spit of land in Dublin Bay where the crab like to party) pulling up pots of beautiful Brown Crabs. They know how to find them and catch them, we know how to cook them, so all that’s left is for you to know is how to eat them. It can be a bit intimidating to take on a whole crab and get the best out of it but once you know how it’s a great feed and a lot of fun.


Of the whole weight of these heavily armoured critters, about a third of it is edible meat. With sweet white meat in the claws and lower body and rich brown meat in the head, there’s a great range of flavours in a Brown Crab. When we prepare a crab in Klaw, we pull off the claws and separate the top shell and the lower body. On the lower body are the “dead man’s fingers” as they’re known. These are the crab’s gills through which water is filtered. These are removed; despite the enticing name they’re neither tasty nor visually appealing. We then split the body down the middle to make the meat more accessible and we crack the claws. This leaves the top shell or carapace. We remove the sandbox and a membrane that covers the meat. The meat in the top shell is often overlooked in favour of the sweet claw meat but for many this meat is the highlight of eating a crab. The soft meat has a distinct flavour and is stunning when spread on toast and sprinkled with a bit of the Old Bay seasoning and the yuzu that we love in Klaw.


For more info or to have a crack at a crab, drop into the shop and talk to the lovely staff. We’ll also be offering Crab master classes for parties or private functions. We’ll show you the ropes, give you hammers and let you go nuts. There might even be drinking involved…

Drop us a line at info@klaw.ie if you’re interested in arranging a night making a mess in Klaw.


Thanks for reading. If you have a chance give us your vote for best restaurant in the Lovin Dublin restaurant awards. Every voter will get love from afar from all the Klaw staff, double love if we win and have an excuse to celebrate. Also be sure to follow our snapchat on dublinklaw for deals, specials and dancing.

Peace, Love and Seafood,

The Wizard