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TOPIC: spot prawns & dungeness crab

spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 14:49 #1

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Because we live in Wyoming and spend the majority of our summers in Northern BC & AK, we have in the past not brought fish back home at the end of the summer. That all changed this summer as we did bring a limited amount of frozen salmon back. I bleed all my catches immediately and usually gut them immediately, and the quality of the fish that we process are way better than the fish we can get at our markets.

So my question is, how do you process Spot Prawns for storage?
also
Is there a way to process Dungeness Crab?

Thanks Bill

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spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 15:13 #2

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Prawns - just pop off the heads while they're still alive, then freeze them in batches... preferably vacuum sealed.

Crabs - I've had good luck cleaning them and vacuuming... simple as that. The down side is that maybe 1 out of 5 break through the bag due to the spineys... I've also heard that a good method is do pull out all of the meat and freeze in saltwater. I've never done that because it's a TON of work to do this for a typical 15-20 crab catch!
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spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 15:16 #3

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Prawns: Pop the heads put in zip-lock freezer bag and fill with water double bag and freeze. Double bag because they tend to poke holes in the bag

As for crab there is no legal way to bring it home from Canada. At home we pick the meat and wrap it very tight in plastic wrap several wraps in both directions and then Vacuum seal. We do it in 1 pound packages. It will last a year the way we do it
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spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 15:19 #4

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One sure fire method is called "flash freezing". You cook the shellfish as you normally would and then prepare a eutectic solution (usually brine) that you cool down in a freezer or with dry ice. This super cold brine is then poured over the freshly cooked shellfish and it flash freezes. If you then spritz a glaze coat of water over them it will lock out air and prevent freezer burn. You can to the same with fresh vacuum packed salmon (raw).

Here's a link to some tables for the brine solutions. If you have access to a freezer aboard you can freeze fish solid in less than a minute. It's pretty cool and makes for REALLY good quality. Flash freezing is the next best thing to fresh. If you thaw it slowly and handle it properly, most can't tell the difference.

Eutectic Brine Solutions
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spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 15:19 #5

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Bill,

We do our prawns one of two ways. Both vacuum packed.
Heads off in the shell we put them in a ziplock (freezer type) bag with the seal open, then put that in the sealer bag and suck it down.
We try to keep them dry so the fluid doesn't mess up the heat seal. This keep them from puncturing the seal bags.
You could leave the heads on if you wanted but they might be harder to keep from poking holes int he bags.
The second way we do it is to pinch the heads off, chill them in ice for a few hours. Then shell them. We found the shells come off much easier if they have been chilled.
Then dry them on a paper towel and vacuum them down in the seal bag.

We first did this last year and had good luck with no freezer burn.

Crab.
We traditionally clean the meat out of the crabs and put it in plastic tubs with salt water. After its frozen we put a small amount of water on top to ensure the meat is covered. Some people use milk for this method.
I have a friend that pops the tops off then cleans the halves and cooks them. He then freezes the halve in ziplocks.
He says they don't freezer burn.

I intended to try this method (vacuum packed) this year but didn't get enough crab to bother with.

Chris
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spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 15:39 #6

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Shrimp are headed then frozen in saltwater (uncooked). The "disposable" tupperware sorts of containers are really good for this.

Let the block melt down a bit and drop into a large pot of boiling water 3-5 minutes later they are floating and cooked. Not quite as good as fresh but best I have had and we have tried most of the other suggestions above.
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spot prawns & dungeness crab 09 Oct 2014 21:46 #7

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billsguns wrote: Prawns: As for crab At home we pick the meat and wrap it very tight in plastic wrap several wraps in both directions and then Vacuum seal. We do it in 1 pound packages. It will last a year the way we do it

Pacrimrat wrote: Bill,


Crab.
We traditionally clean the meat out of the crabs and put it in plastic tubs with salt water. After its frozen we put a small amount of water on top to ensure the meat is covered. Some people use milk for this method.


Chris


Is this cooked crab meat?

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Bill
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spot prawns & dungeness crab 10 Oct 2014 13:24 #8

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Incommunicado wrote:

billsguns wrote: Prawns: As for crab At home we pick the meat and wrap it very tight in plastic wrap several wraps in both directions and then Vacuum seal. We do it in 1 pound packages. It will last a year the way we do it

Pacrimrat wrote: Bill,


Crab.
We traditionally clean the meat out of the crabs and put it in plastic tubs with salt water. After its frozen we put a small amount of water on top to ensure the meat is covered. Some people use milk for this method.

Yes, we clean, half and steam them first. I think the main thing is to keep the air off the meat, so vacuum packing would probably work well too. I'll let you know next year.
Chris


Is this cooked crab meat?

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