How to Cook Green Crab
A Cookbook of Invasive Species Harvested Along the Maine Coast
Last fall I began mentoring 17-year-old Oliver Curtis at Portland’s The Telling Room, a community writing nonprofit. His project was ambitious and wonderfully creative: to write and illustrate a cookbook of local invasive species—finally published this fall. In his book, this budding marine scientist tells the story and science behind the pugnacious green crab, the pernicious periwinkle, and the pesky European flat oyster, followed by a handful of recipes meant to encourage their consumption.
Green Crab Broth
Two pounds cleaned green crab bodies, unpicked
4¼ cups water
1 finely chopped medium onion
1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1–2 stalks roughly chopped celery
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 teaspoon white wine
1½ teaspoons uncrushed peppercorns
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
Begin by placing the crabs into an eight-quart stockpot and pour in water to cover them. Bring to a slow boil, while periodically skimming excess fat from the surface using a ladle of your choice. The crab fat will materialize as gelatinous white foam. Try not to be deterred by its general un-palatability. Reduce to a light yet buoyant simmer.
Proceed to add the celery, white wine, and lemon juice. Let the stock cook unbothered for 1 hour. Only lift the lid to occasionally make sure the crabs are still completely submerged in their brine.
After an hour has passed, sprinkle in the garlic and seasonings. Simmer the stock for another 30 minutes.
Finally, sieve it through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Place in fridge and let chill for 2 hours. Cover the broth after it has cooled and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can either enjoy it as is or as a base for a seafood soup.