Searching for Crab Roe
You’re going to have a hard time buying crab roe as only the males are sold commercially (and NO, I’m NOT kidding for a change!) During my stint at Yankee Lobster I once asked the dumb (to me, since it was easy to tell a male lobster from a female) question of how to tell a male from female crab. All the guys laughed….."THEY’RE ALL MALES!!" Yep, quite true. They throw the females back and since it’s illegal to harvest a female lobster with eggs, it might also be true for the crab industry. You’ll have to know someone with crab pots if you want females I do believe.
A nice cold glass of Vernors, a tie and those chaps, clothier, pretty please??
I’ve been looking for a place to buy crab roe (preferably from blue crabs) from. There’s a recipe called "She-Crab Soup" and a few others that I’d like to try but am lacking this ingredient; any advice or leads as to where I could pick up some in or out of season? I’m in NY but be willing to pay for a dry ice shipment. Thanks!
I don;t know what kind of crabs we had, but the roe was tapioca-sized!
Blue crab roe is very fine & when stirred into the soup (a bisque really) it is barely noticeable. If anyone has purchased fresh crabmeat by the pound & seen little pieces of bright orange clumps in it, that’s crab roe. Many people today actually just make the soup without the roe, it’s very good thst way. My Charleston Receipts cookbook has three recipes for She-Crab soup & only one of them calls for crab roe & that is mixed in with the meat. That one also says that if you are unable to obtain the roe to cumble a little hard boiled egg yolk in the bottom of the soup plate. Two other key ingrediants to this soup & to me what makes it good is the use of mace & dry sherry. The sherry is best when each diner is given a small pitcher to add to their own taste at the table.
My brother got crabs from a Ventura farmer’s market a month ago (insert joke here) and the only ones left were heavy with eggs. We all felt bad about the crabs-that-coulda-been, but they weren’t alive when we got them. The gigantic egg sacs and resultant beetle-like look they gave the crabs grossed us all out so much hardly anyone could eat the crabs.
I think that soup is going to be an opportunistic thing that you can make if presented with roe, but like many things, you have to be patient (and have a really strong stomache).
Thanks ocdreamr, that’s a good crabby site with lots of info…….we never had blue crabs in Boston (except soft-shell in season) so I had no idea of the harvesting regulations for hard-shells. Here in Alaska only male Dungeness crabs and male king crabs can be harvested. So that she-crab soup would be possible in late spring/early summer! Cool!
I figured they could be found somewhere, but the rules for Jonah crabs coming out of Maine are NO FEMALES. But then, they can take stripers out of the Chesapeake around 18" while the legal limit in MA (a couple years ago when I fished and worked there) was 38"!!
Sorry, Ileechef, but female crabs are available, more so from the Carolinas & Texas than the Cheaspeake area but they can be found here too. As to the roe, you get that by buying the crabs, but since it’s not really the season for breeding I don’t think you could find them with roe this time of year, when I get home tonight I’ll try to remember to add a link all about crabs & crabbing regulations.
That OCDreamr, who has been know to sign herself as crabby!![:D]
yes but wearing the chaps was supposed to make YOU happy….
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