Spotlight: Jonah Crab Claws

Spotlight: Jonah Crab Claws

Mark Murrell

The Gulf of Maine is home to the once pesky Jonah Crab. For years, lobstermen despised them because they worked their way into the lobster pots to steal the bait. Once freed from the traps they were tossed back into the Atlantic under a shower of curses. Finally, someone had the sense to take them home and put them in the pot. Turns out that the crabs were delicious, and a cottage industry sprung up in Maine steaming, picking and selling their meat. And it turned out that the larger ones had nice juicy claws that gave the coveted Stone Crab claws from Florida a run for their money (at about half the price).

Today, Jonah crabs have found their niche in the marketplace, and with increasing popularity. Landed fresh year-round, they are harvested inshore and offshore by lobster boats. Their flaky, sweet meat is rich and often compared to the flavor of its Pacific cousin, the Dungeness. Larger crabs are selected especially to be sold as “cocktail” claws, which is the entire arm and claw attached, about 6 to 8 pieces to the pound. They are steamed and frozen immediately to trap its sweet, ocean flavor – and are ready to be eaten and enjoyed once thawed. Serve them with some tangy seafood cocktail sauce, aioli, hot sauce, or even some drawn butter like you would lobster. Once you crack open the Jonah crab, prepared to be hooked!

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Recipe

--- Jonah Crab Claws w/ Mac's Mustard Aioli

How to prepare your Jonah Crab Claws:

--- Try and keep your table clean by laying out a tablecloth or newspapers.
--- Grab a crab mallet or hammer and crack the claws over the tablecloth/newspapers.
--- Remove any shells before eating, chipped teeth are no fun.
--- Dip in your favorite sauce or butter, eat, savor and repeat until full.Crab Claws are shipped frozen and need to be fully thawed before serving.Refrigerate/Freeze Immediately. Allow to thaw in refrigerator and enjoy within 5 days.