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Guide to Eating

Step 1: Tail

Flip the crab on its back and remove the tail. If you see roe, you're on to something good. Suck out the roe from the tail. Don't use vinegar on this part of the crab -- you want to taste the sweetness.

Step 2: Top shell

Remove the top shell. This is where most of the roe is hidden. Pull it back to uncover the bright orange rich roe.

Step 3: Top shell

Remember to remove the small bones at the top. Scrape all the roe together from the body and shell to collect a spoonful of roe. Add a bit of vinegar mixture (usually black vinegar, chopped ginger and sugar) to cut through the richness.

Step 4: Body

Break the body in half. Remove the "dead man’s fingers" from the sides of the body -- used to filter water, they are inedible.

Step 5: Body in quarters

Break each half of the body into half again. This opens the little partitions where most of the meat is. Hold the legs of the crab and dip the body into the vinegar mixture. Suck or pick out all the meat. You can spit out the little bits of shell without being rude. Don’t worry, everyone else will be doing the same thing.

Step 6: Legs

Break the first joint of the leg by biting it off. Then bite off the second joint, leaving the leg in two pieces. You can use a crab-shell cracker here if your teeth are sensitive.

Step 7: Legs

Using the end bit of the leg, which is sharp and thin, push through the top part of the remaining leg and you'll find yourself with a nice intact piece of leg meat.

Step 8: Claws

The claws are the toughest part of the crab. Use the crab-shell cracker (or very strong teeth) to break the claw in half. By using a cracker, you avoid getting too much hair on the claws.

Step 9: Claws

Once again, use the end bit of a leg to pick out the crab meat hidden in the claw. When finished, you should have a plate of hairy crab shells, the leftover taste of succulent crab meat and crab-smelling hands.