Seafood is only liked by a handful of people, but if you have a thing for seafood, we are sure you have a fondness for crab legs. The crab legs are known for their rich flavor with slightly sweet notes while boasting a delicate and tender texture. However, there are times when there are parasite eggs on crab legs, and people ask if it’s fine to eat the crab legs with parasite eggs on them. So, with this article, we are sharing more details!
Parasite Eggs On Crab Legs
The parasite eggs are laid by the marine leeches on the exterior surfaces of the crabs and their crabs. In the majority of cases, the parasite eggs are more evident on the snow crabs, and it’s done to protect the young leeches. However, it is important to add that eggs never penetrate the legs or shells. There are chances when these eggs survive the cooking process and will remain intact. On the other hand, when the crabs are shipped to different countries, the eggs will be destroyed since they are pretty delicate.
As far as consumption is concerned, the parasite eggs on the cooked crab legs don’t pose any health risks, and they won’t impact the quality, taste, or health of the crab legs or the meat. However, for that, it is important to add that proper cooking is important to ensure the crab legs are well-prepared. In the majority of cases, the chefs marinate the crab legs with wine, brine, or vinegar that ensures proper preparation and cooking.
In addition to the parasite eggs, people are also concerned about the barnacles. This is because many people like to avoid the parts of crabs with barnacles hanging out. So, if these barnacles don’t go out of the legs, the meat will be alright to eat. Also, before you bite on the crab legs, make sure to check the crab color because if they are red or orange, they are cooked. On the other hand, if crab legs have a brown or green appearance, you will need to boil or steam them for around twenty minutes or until they change the color to red or orange.
4 Cooking Methods For Crab Legs
According to the FDA, it is important that you cook crab legs at 145-degrees Fahrenheit, and the internal temperature of these must reach 145-degrees Fahrenheit. One symptom of well-cooked crag legs is pearly and opaque meat. In addition, there are times when crab legs are frozen to avoid the parasite infestation and eggs. Similarly, if you purchase frozen crab legs, it is important to follow the correct thawing methods to ensure the crab legs are safe to eat.
Steaming & Boiling The Crab Legs
When it comes down to preparing the crab legs, boiling and steaming are two common methods, and we are diving into the details for steaming first;
- For steaming, fill the large pot with one inch of salted water and boil it
- Add crab legs on the steamer basket and cover the pot
- Let the crab legs steam for over twenty minutes (you can increase or decrease the time according to the crab leg sizes)
Some people also add vinegar to the salted water while reducing the boiling point. In addition, it helps ensure quick steaming of the crab legs. Having said that, if you want to prevent the sticking of meat to the shell and help keep the texture delicate and intact. Also, it is suggested that you use apple cider vinegar rather than white vinegar.
As far as the boiling method is concerned, we are mentioning the instructions below;
- Fill the large pot with water and add lemon and salt to it
- Now, put the crab boiling bag in it and place the crab legs properly in the liquid
- Bring it to boil, and five minutes of boiling will ensure the crab legs are fully cooked
- Let the crab legs stand in the liquid for over fifteen minutes before you take them out
While we have only asked you to add lemon and salt, you can also add other seasonings and spices to enhance the flavor of crab legs, such as old bay seasoning, lemon wedges, or bay leaves. Also, in the boiling water, make sure that the crab legs are only simmered for five minutes because you don’t want to overcook the crab legs.
If you don’t want to go with boiling or steaming, broiling is another method of preparing the crab legs. The best thing about broiling in the oven is that it adds buttery goodness to the crab legs and will be caramelized, which you will appreciate. Now, let’s have a look at the instructions;
- Set your oven to the highest broiler setting
- Prepare the baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper
- Start placing the crab legs on the pan and brush them with melted butter or olive oil
- Now, put this pan into the oven and broil each side for three to four minutes
The last method of preparing the crab legs is grilling, and it’s a perfect option if you don’t like cleaning up a lot. We suggest that you opt for a charcoal grill because it adds the most flavor, but if you want the smokiness, you can also opt for a propane grill. Now, in the section below, we are sharing the steps to follow;
- First of all, prepare the grill at medium heat setting and clean the grates to ensure the crab legs don’t stick
- Now, brush them with oil and cook them for over four minutes on the grill grates for one side, and you are done
When using the grill, it is better that you keep the hood on as it helps maximize the heat, and the cooking process will be extremely quick.
On a concluding note, if you see some parasite eggs on the crab legs, you don’t need to worry about its health impacts. This is because as long as you are cooking the crab legs properly, you have nothing to worry about, and they don’t pose any harmful impacts either!