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Crab Meat 101: purchasing, nutrition, brands I love, and tasty crab recipes

By June 13, 2020 No Comments

I love, love, love….give it one more love, crab. Not only is it super a super tasty, semi-sweet lean protein, but despite common opinion- it is easy to find and not overly expensive.

Did you know that there are 4 main kinds of crabmeat? Did you also know that much of it is sold in cans or containers vs fresh? It is, in fact, cooed, cleaned, + pasteurized before packaged. It’s like tuna and salmon in that way and does not need to come from a fresh, expensive, claw or cluster to use for healthy recipes.

Their names are called “grades” and correspond with the part of the crab the meat comes from and the size of the pieces in the packaging.

JUMBO LUMP: essentially the KING of flavor and quality overall, it is the meat from the 2 larger muscles connected to the swimming legs. It is generally the most costly type to buy, but also the best to serve without heavy sauces and most commonly used as a base for ceviche or sushi.

LUMP: this is basically the more broken up pieces of jumbo lump with some pieces from the body of the crab. Since it is a mix, although still a delicate flavor, it is great for salads, crab cakes, omelets, and more.

CLAW MEAT: comes from the claws of a crab and it is a “muscle” meat since it is working as a fin for the crab. That makes it a pink or brown meat that is heartier, but also has a more oily texture. It has a bolder taste and is therefore best to be used in heavier sauces or soups.

BACKFIN: have you ever seen the super fine pieces of crab meat from a crab cake before? This is it- the backfin is essentially a flaky form of body eat that is similar in texture and flavor to lump crab meat, but isn’t as commonly found.

My Favorite Brands of Crab Meat:

Lump, Claw, and a mix is easiest to find for a moderate price by these brands in most grocery stores!

Some Creative Crab Meat Recipes

Spicy Crab Sushi Bowl

makes 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

For the Bowl:

  • ½ of an avocado
  • 1 radish, sliced
  • 5-6 serrano pepper slices
  • 1 cup slaw mix
  • ½ cup prepared brown or black rice – it’s great to prep grains in bulk weekly and have it ready-to-go or to use instant bowls like Lotus Foods.

For the Spicy Crab:

  • 1 cup lump crab meat
  • 1 TB scallions
  • 1 TB paleo mayo
  • 1 TB plain Greek yogurt
  • 2+ tsp Sriracha sauce
  • Dash of Teriyaki sauce
  • 3 slices of pickled ginger, chopped
  • Optional Topping: Tobiko (caviar)

TO MAKE

  1. Simply mix together the crab ingredients in a bowl, serve with the prepared bowl ingredients inside of the halved avocado. I mash it all together once I am ready to devour it!

Ashley’s Crab Cakes with a Curried Aioli Sauce

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict

 

MEAL PREP HACK: use leftover crab cakes from dinner the night before to make this dish and add on the special, secret hollandaise.

makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cans lump crab meat, drained + placed in a bowl
  • 1/8 cup scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • Sea salt + pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 TB coconut or oat flour
  • 2-3 dashes of Old Bay seasoning

To Serve:

  • Large handful of mixed greens or microgreens
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 2 whole grain, gluten free English muffins or bagels or even 4 slices of toast
  • Flaky sea salt + fresh black pepper

TO MAKE

  1. Mix the ingredients together in a medium bowl, then form into 4 patties.
  2. Heat some oil over medium heat in a skillet – add in the cakes and cook for 3-5 minutes/side or until browned.

Make it even more unique at your next brunch or weekend breakfast and prep an avocado-based healthier take on hollandaise sauce.

2 TB Hollandaise Sauce

60 calories | 6g fat | 5g carbs | 3g fiber | 2g protein

vs

2 TB Regular Hollandaise Sauce

134 calories | 15g fat | 2g carbs | 0g fiber | 3g protein

For the Avocado Hollandaise Sauce:

makes 6-8 x 2 TB servings

  • 1 medium avocado, peeled + mashed
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB paleo mayonnaise
  • 4 TB avocado or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • Dashes of salt + cayenne pepper

TO MAKE:

  1. Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.
NUTRITION:

For 1 piece (crab cake, 1 egg, 1 TB sauce, toppings, ½ whole grain bread)

426 calories | 19 g carbs | 30 g protein | 12 g fat

Crab Stuffed Deviled Eggs

makes 6 eggs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 oz lump crab meat – save 2 TB for garnish
  • 1/8 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup paleo mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ¼ cup grilled or roasted corn
  • 1 TB chives, chopped

TO MAKE:

  1. Hard boil the eggs – have an InstantPot? You can pressure cook them easily! Otherwise, prepare them in the classic way.
  2. Once cooled, peel the eggs + slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks into a bowl and set whites aside onto a platter.
  3. Mix the yolks with the yogurt, mayo, seasoning, crabmeat, and ½ TB chives (don’t forget to save some crab and chives for garnish!) -stir. Mix in the corn.
  4. Place the yolk mix in a large plastic bag and snip the corner on an angle to “pipe” the mix in (if you have a pastry bag with end attachments, use that!) Otherwise, just use a spoon!
  5. Garnish with chives, crab meat, and some more Old Bay. Best to chill them before serving if serving same-day.
NOTES:
  • You can prep the egg whites and the mix the day before + store in the fridge.
  • Remove the whites and filling from the fridge + prep immediately to serve.
  • Once assembled, eat immediately.

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