[Red Rock Crab, Cancer productus]
A heavy, hard shelled bottom crab with a bad disposition and claws so strong they can pinch right through heavy neoprene gloves. They live in rocky areas along the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to Baja and can grow to nearly 8 inches wide across the carapace. The photo specimen was a male 6 inches across and weighing 1# 13oz (1.8 pounds).
This crab is not to be confused with the very common Atlantic rock crab (Cancer irroratus) which is much smaller and lighter of build or the small, fast moving Australian red rock crab Plagusia chabrus.
More on Crabs.
This crab has tender flesh with good crab flavor. It's best as an "eat from the shell" crab because the flakey flesh is a bit difficult to remove. Serve it in halves as shown below.
Yield is very low with a 1 pound crab yielding 2.6 ounces of crab meat (16%) but that's better than some other crabs. The claws and claw arms yielded 1.3 ounces and the rest of the crab 1.3 ounces. About 1/2 the claw arm flesh was in the claw itself.
Some people just boil the crabs whole but I prefer to clean them before cooking to minimize tainting the body flesh. With a little practice cleaning goes quickly.
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