Snow crab

Produced right here in Québec
The snow crab is the first seafood from Quebec to arrive in store, at the beginning of April. Discover how to savour it!

A seafood to discover

Although crab is abundant in Québec, there are still lots of folks who’ve never heard of this tender, succulent shellfish. It is nonetheless no more difficult to shell than lobster, and even simpler to prepare because you can buy it already cooked in the seafood department. Discover our tips for preparing this elegant seafood!

Fishmonger's tips


Since crab doesn’t survive well in tanks, it’s generally available cooked, already cut into convenient pieces. Plan on serving 2 or 3 pieces per person for a main course, and 1 or 1 1/2 pieces each as a starter.

Shelling crab

The crab’s edible meat is located in the claws and legs and in the section between the legs and body as well. Use heavy-duty scissors or a knife to cut lengthwise through the shell, and then remove the meat with a fork. Detach the legs by twisting and pulling them. Break the claws and joints using a seafood cracker or a nutcracker.


Bernard Bordeleau - Fishmonger at IGA online.

The ABCs of cooking crab

If crab legs are already cooked…

  • Place crab legs in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling, salted water and steam for just 6 minutes! 
  • You can also boil them for 5 to 7 minutes in salty water. 
  • For heating in the oven, simply wrap crab legs in aluminum foil and place 8 to 10 minutes at 180°C (350°F).

With live crab…

Prepare sections in a large saucepan of salty, boiling water, bring back to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes for a crab weighing between 450 g (1 lb.) and 1.3 kg (3 lb.).

Gourmets tips

Crab is often served plain, eaten without accompaniments or dipped in melted butter. Here are some gourmet tips for different ways to serve it.
  • Bloody Mary with crab: Nothing could be simpler - prepare your favourite version of the famous cocktail and replace the stalk of celery with one or two crab legs! Serve with the utensils required to shell them... and lots of napkins.
  • Sautéed crab legs: In a skillet, sauté the crab with a blend of spices (Cajun or jerk) in butter. Add about 60 mL (¼ cup) of liquid to create steam, and mix well. Place in a 400° oven for 4 or 5 minutes until the crab is heated through and infused with flavour. Remove from the oven, drizzle with lemon juice... and enjoy!
  • Crab roll: A simple recipe. Coarsely chop the crab meat and mix it with a bit of mayonnaise, some chopped celery leaves, and minced green onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve on a toasted hot dog bun. A taste of summer guaranteed!


  • Cooked crab pieces will keep 2 days in the fridge. 
  • Crab meat freezes well up to one month, but will lose some moisture when frozen which changes its texture. It is nonetheless still excellent for salads or crab cakes!