What is Blue crab; swimming crab (Callinectes sapidus; Portunus pelagicus)?

Blue crab; swimming crab Blue crab; swimming crab

Common names for Blue crab; swimming crab

Blue crab, hardshell crab, softshell crab; blue swimming crab

Other languages for Blue crab; swimming crab

  • French name: Crabe bleu
  • Italian name: Granchio nuotatore
  • German name: Blaukrabbe

Introduction to Blue crab; swimming crab

The crab gets its name from the blue tinges on black shells and blue spots on the legs. Males have blue claws, while females have orange-tipped claws. Blue crabs range in size from 4 to 6 inches. Male crabs (“Jimmies”) and immature females (“Sallies”) may be caught as hardshells in the domestic fishery if their carapace measures 5 inches. Mature female crabs (“sooks”) have no size restrictions. Blue crabs are available in hardshell and softshell varieties. Peeler crabs are collected shortly before to molting; softshell crabs are harvested immediately after molting. Traps, nets, and dredges are used to collect the crabs. Blue crabs are distributed from Cape Cod to the Gulf of Mexico in brackish estuaries and bays. The greatest concentration is off the coasts of Maryland and Virginia in the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. Blue-crab fisheries exist in North Carolina and Louisiana as well. The same sapidus species is present in Central and South America, where crabmeat is supplied to the US market. The blue swimming crab (genus Portunus) is imported mainly as pasteurized meat from Southeast Asia.

Product profile for Blue crab; swimming crab

Blue crab meat has a taste that is rich, sweet, juicy, and buttery. The body meat has a delicate flavor, while the claw meat has a nutty flavor. Because softshells are eaten whole, they have a crunchy feel. Blue crab shells that have been cooked turn an orange-red color. White, delicate, and flaky body flesh. Claw meat has a natural brownish color to it. Fresh crab flesh is firmer and darker than pasteurized meat. The scent of fresh blue crab flesh should be moderate; pasteurized meat should have a faint “hot” aroma.

Cooking tips for Blue crab; swimming crab

Live crabs can be eaten right immediately, steamed or cooked, or used in sauces or salads. A classic favorite is fried crab cakes, which are created with selected flesh, bread crumbs, butter, and spice. Softshells should be sautéed, broiled, or grilled over high heat to crisp up the shells. They’re frequently fried and used as a sandwich filling.

Nutrition facts for Blue crab; swimming crab

Calories: 87 Fat Calories: 10 Total Fat: 1.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Cholesterol: 78 mg Sodium: 293 mg Protein: 18.1 g Omega 3: 0.3 g

Primary product forms for Blue crab; swimming crab

Live: Hardshells, Softshells Fresh: Whole (dressed hardshells), Whole (dressed softshells), Picked meat Frozen: Whole (dressed softshells), Cooked meat, Blocks, Claws, Cocktail claws Value-added: Cakes, Stuffed, Pasteurized meat

Global supply for Blue crab; swimming crab

China, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran