How to Eat Pasturized Crab Meat

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Pasteurized crab meat can be used in place of fresh.
Pasteurized crab meat can be used in place of fresh. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pasteurized crab is shelled crab meat that has been subjected to high-temperature processing in order to kill any potentially dangerous microorganisms, and extend its shelf life. Although it is canned, pasteurized crab is not shelf-stable and should be kept refrigerated until it is used. Typically it costs much less than fresh crab of comparable quality, and it is much more convenient.

Things You'll Need

  • Can opener
  • Bowl
  • Crackers, or toast rounds
  • Limes juice or lime wedges (optional)
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Seasonings
  • Skillet
  • Oil
  • Cream sauce
  • Crepes
  • Cannelloni
  • Fresh herbs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Diced celery
  • Minced chives
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Squash blossoms
  • Ricotta
  • Fresh dill
  • Flour

Open the can of pasteurized crab. Drain the crab meat thoroughly, and empty it into a bowl. Pick through the bowl carefully, looking for shell fragments, and removing them if you find any. The crab is now ready to use.

Eat the drained crab meat "as is" on crackers or small toast triangles. Pasteurized crab is fully cooked, and requires only a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt.

Crumble the crab meat into a bowl with eggs, seasonings and breadcrumbs to make traditional crab cakes. Chill the mixture, then shape it into small patties and fry until golden in a hot pan.

Make a cream sauce for the crab with a small amount of dry sherry. Stir the crab into the sauce, and use it to fill crepes or cannelloni. Spoon a little more sauce over the top, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Stir mayonnaise and seasonings into the crab, with finely diced celery and minced chives. Serve a scoop of crab salad on a lettuce leaf with a garnish of fresh herbs, or spoon it onto crackers or toast rounds for canapes.

Stuff squash blossoms with a mixture of pasteurized crab, ricotta and fresh dill. Dredge them in flour, and pan-fry in a hot skillet until the blossoms are golden and the cheese melts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pasteurized crab is graded and priced according to the size of the pieces, with "Jumbo Chunk" being the largest and "Special" being the smallest. If your recipe calls for the pieces to be shredded, paying extra for large pieces is unnecessary.
  • Pasteurized crab meat cannot be stored at room temperature or it will spoil. Keep your cans of crab in the coldest part of the refrigerator and use before the expiration date.

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