Stone Crabs in October

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: Florida Fishing Spots > Fishing News

Stone Crabs in October

One of Florida's most prized seafood delicacies -- stone crab claws -- will be available at your local seafood retailer beginning October 15.

Stone crab season opens October 15 each year and runs through May 15. The majority of Florida stone crab claws are commercially harvested off the southern tip of Florida’s peninsula from Sarasota to Fort Lauderdale. Stone crabs are harvested for their mouth watering claws and only the claws of the stonecrab are removed. The stone crab is then returned to the water where it will regenerate new claws within 18 months. In 2004, nearly 3 million pounds of stonecrab claws, with a dockside value of more than $26 million, were harvested in Florida waters.

Stone crab claws are cooked immediately after harvest, and sold either fresh cooked or frozen. Fresh cooked can be eaten within three to four days if packed in ice or stored in the coldest part of a refrigerator. Be sure to freeze only claws that are completely intact and free from cracks in the shell. The thick shell will protect the meat for up to six months in a home freezer. Thaw the claws in the refrigerator, allowing 12 to 18 hours for them to thaw completely. The quality will be compromised if they are thawed under running water or at room temperature.

The sweet-tasting meat of Florida stonecrab claws is delicious unseasoned, with melted butter or your favorite sauce. To crack the shell, use a crab cracker, a tool you can purchase at your local kitchen supply or department store, or the back of a heavy spoon. Remove the cracked shell pieces, leaving the meat attached to the moveable pincer. Don’t forget there is plenty of delicious meat in the knuckle of the claw. The meat can also be picked from the claws and used as an ingredient in other recipes. Approximately 2.5 pounds of cooked stone crab claws yield 1 pound of meat.
Florida stone crabs can be purchased at your local seafood market, supermarket or from suppliers and fishermen that sell on-line. Many restaurants also feature this crab treasure during the season. When shopping for stone crab claws, make sure you ask for "Florida" stonecrabclaws. While there are other crab claws similar in appearance, they do not have the delicious flavor of Florida stone crab claws.

It is hard to resist something that tastes this good and requires so little preparation. Try the following recipe for a true Florida treat.

Try this delicious recipe:

Stone Crab Claws Miami
2 1/2 pounds Florida stone crab claws
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup extra dry vermouth
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Crack and remove outer shell from the claws, leaving meat attached to the remaining pincer. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stone crab claws, salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until claws are heated, stirring frequently. Increase temperature to high, add vermouth and lemon juice and cook one additional minute stirring constantly. Drain, serve hot or cold as an appetizer or entree and enjoy.

Yield: four servings
Nutritional Value Per Serving:
Calories 362,
Calories from Fat 192,
Total Fat 21g,
Saturated Fat 3g,
Trans Fatty Acid 0,
Cholesterol 178mg,
Total Carbohydrates 2g,
Protein 36g,
Omega 3 Fatty Acid 1g.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing, has stonecrab claw brochures for consumers. Please ask for this colorful brochure containing cooking tips, other recipes and proper care and handling of ston crabclaws by contacting the Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture, 2051 East Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310, or e-mail, or on-line at

For more information:
Paul Balthrop
(850) 488-0163

See also:
Wild Caught Shrimp
Ocean Caught Florida Shrimp to your Party
Megabait Unveils Their New Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Lures
Florida Fishing & Hunting Adventures is Now Listed
Abundant Variety Attracts Miami Fishing Enthusiast

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