Tips On How To Cook Red Rock Crabs


(gentle music)

- Try to be careful 'cause these things

pretend to stay still and

they pinch really hard.

It's definitely a funny

characteristic of this crab

is that it's pretty pissed

off all the time. (chuckles)

We have two specimens of red rock crab.

These are both harvested

in Netarts Bay, Oregon

by Captain Kristen Penner.

She's associated with Blue Siren Shellfish

of the fishing vessel, Storm Trooper.

So these are caught in Dungeness crab pots

during bay season only.

These are a bi-catch ingredient

of Dungeness crab fishing.

Some locals on the coast will eat these,

but as far as sport and commercial goes,

these are literally an untouched species.

They're just a little bit harder

to pick the meat out of the shell,

which is the only thing I can think of

as to why they're not targeted.

This crab meat has like

a tropical flavor to it,

almost like a citrus flavor.

It tastes like it was dressed

with grapefruit juice.

It's one of the most exotic tasting

seafoods we've had anywhere.

- It's so nice to have

a chef that's willing to

use what other people would

just discard and throw away.

- For instance, we were fishing

for Dungeness crab today,

and the red rock crab came up in our gear.

There's a lot of traditional

recipes that call for them, so.

- In Japan, they have 50

different kinds of crabs

you can find at the live seafood market,

and here, you know, we

just kind of stick to

the ones that we know work.

We also just didn't really

use Dungeness crab at all

before even though it's available.

We haven't really used it on the menu

until these specific ones became available

just because the story

behind it really helps.

That was what Kristen

first showed us about them

that was so cool was that,

yeah, there's less meat,

but there's still quite

a bit on most of them.

And what ends up happening is that

seawater can get in the shell

and it kind of brines the meat,

so the meat is way more

tender and more flavorful.

- They both have sweet meat,

but I feel like the texture of the meat

is slightly different too.

I think it's brinier, and just bitter.

- The red rocks?

- Yeah, the red rocks.

They come up in the pots and

they're like glowing jewels.

They are just the most

stunning. (chuckles)

(gentle violin music)

- So this is a male crab here.

Really similar to stone crab

is that you can see the claws

are almost the size of the

rest of the entire body.

There's a wide flap on

the bottom of the female,

and a narrow one on

the bottom of the male.

Typically, all of these female crabs

are filled with roe this time of year.

We'll steam these for about 12 minutes,

chill them down, pick the claw meat out,

and then we take the

roe from the female crab

and make a sauce out of it,

and then that will just get

spooned right over the

crab meat, that's it.

It's very simple.

(gentle music)

So, here we have the

crabs that are cooked.

We just start by removing

all the legs and claws.

The prize of this crab is

the roe from the females.

So, we're gonna remove the flap.

The body is removed from the shell.

It comes right out like that.

And then inside here,

you can sort of just start

to pull everything away

and you can see the roe right in there.

This sort of follows the

shape of the shell as well.

So there, it comes out just like that,

and then we leave this juice inside here,

'cause that will also be

used to make the roe sauce.

Then you have your crab roe,

the body of the crab, flap, legs, claws.

Super umami crab flavor this roe has,

and you can kind of see

when you clean it off

that beautiful like coral,

bright orange color.

And then the next step after this

is that we would peel these claws.

It's pretty difficult to crack,

so we take a little rubber mallet

and then crack it really lightly,

then you can peel the shell away.

So the male crabs, as you can see,

have much larger claws than the female.

So, this is where we get

the majority of our meat.

I should remove those

claws, just like before.

And as you can see, just the

size difference between the two

is pretty massive.

Even the male crabs have these little

what they call are crab

guts, the crab brains,

is that most flavorful part of the crab.

There's no real research done

on how old these crabs are,

and because these aren't

commercially harvested,

there can be some down

there that have been

living for a very long time.

As opposed to Dungeness crab,

it's healthy fishery

but it's rotated a lot.

On this crab you can

really tell the age of it.

I mean, that takes a very long time

for barnacles to grow

on something like that.

This is a Dungeness crab.

The whole body will come right out.

That's also the amazing

thing about these crabs

is just the amount of juice

that comes out of them.

I mean that right there,

you can just drink that out of the shell.

It's like amazing.

Yeah, it's epic.

So because it's a new

shell, the shell is softer,

so it just twists off like this.

You can just eat the crab.

These are amazing.

They're also really

preferred by locals because

you can just mow right through it.

You just eat a whole pile of crabs

without having to do really

very much work at all.

God, he's gotta try this.

- [Producer] Sure.

- We're a little bit biased here in Oregon

about Dungeness crab, but,

it's kind of hard to find

anything that beats that.

(energetic music)

- This is a standby for us, the pie crust.

We really like making tiny food,

it's one of the fun things

about working in a tasting menu format.

So, we're making our

red rock crab pie here.

That just starts with a simple

pate brisee, or pie crust.

We kind of underwork it

and then fold it onto itself a few times,

so that creates this

kind of like puff pastry

or croissant-like texture.

We just cut out rounds of the pastry

so that we have a nice even shape.

(energetic music)

So these are our pie weights.

We just use these to hold down

the crust as it bakes so

that it holds it's shape.

It's called blind-baking sometimes,

and then we remove those

partway through the baking process

so that they can finish cooking through.

- So this is the crab roe.

So this is just the innards from the crab

and the roe that have just

been blended together.

We're gonna mix it with some egg yolk

and whisk it over a double boiler.

We're gonna season this with a little bit

of the garum that we make from mackerel.

Let it slowly warm up,

and then we'll continue

to stir it more and more

as it starts to thicken when it warms up.

Crab roe is like a major delicacy.

You usually just don't see

it in the United States

because it's illegal in certain fisheries

to keep the female crabs.

If these were to be kind

of a commercial fishery

for longterm sustainability reasons,

we would not harvest the female crabs.

So as you can see, that

just thicken right up.

It lands to a really nice creamy texture,

similar to a Hollandaise,

except that we're not having to add

any fat to this to thicken it,

so we have that pure flavor

from the crab roe sauce.

We have all the components here together

for our red rock crab tart.

This is the meat from the

claws that we picked out.

It has a lot of flavor on it's own,

but we season it really lightly

with a little bit of lemon

and some finishing olive oil,

and then also some of that same garum

that we used to season the roe sauce,

sort of just reinforce that flavor.

A little bit of our roe sauce.

It's not the most efficient process.

I think for us, it's a lot more important

to be sourcing these native ingredients.

We're all about the quality of them.

You know, it's worth it.

(energetic music)

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