As executive chef at Fisherman’s View Restaurant, Scott Robertson is a pioneer in the growing field of Jonah crab cuisine.
It’s central to the restaurant’s concept - fresh, local catch served creatively. The restaurant owners have two boats that mainly fish for Jonah crab. So Robertson puts it all over the menu, in crab cakes, salads, sushi, stuffed ravioli.
This story is a sidebar to our 3-part series, Indicator Species: New England's Fishermen and the Challenges of Climate Change.
Quotes have been condensed and edited for clarity.
For the home chef, Robertson recommends simple preparations: “With good ingredients, the less you do to it, the better,” he says.
“The best tasting meat is in the legs, shredded. You want to make sure you mix it gently, and don’t tear at it. People do that and then it doesn’t resemble what it might have been.”
“Pasta - I make a lot of our own pasta here in the restaurant. You don’t have to do that at home. But if you have Jonah crab at home - it is expensive, so to make it stretch, mix it in with pasta, maybe a splash of white wine, butter, some herbs, maybe some fresh zucchini from the garden, that’s it. No cheese.”
“If I had friends coming over, you could make one-bite hors d'oeuvres. You could stuff it in a mushroom.”
“Crab and mustard is a huge thing. If you had a little bit of mustard, shallots, fine herbs, tarragon - bright flavor - make a mustard vinaigrette, lightly toss it.”
“Also, avocado and crab is huge. Add some corn, some basil. You really can’t go wrong.”
“For a dinner party, or something at home, make a batch of guacamole and form it; lightly dress the Jonah crab with lemon vinaigrette, or the mustard situation, and put it on top. Then people get at it with the tortillas and try the guacamole with the crab.”
“It’s endless. That’s what I’m finding.”
Pien Huang is an environmental reporting fellow with the GroundTruth Project, stationed at WCAI.
For more on GroundTruth's reporting on climate change visit thegroundtruthproject.org.