Canned Crab Is The Secret To Flavorful Seafood Ravioli Anytime

Crab ravioli may sound like the kind of dinner that's only coming out of a restaurant. Homemade ravioli seems like a daunting task if you're not practiced in making pasta dough; then add the price of fresh crab as well as the work of cracking the crustacean ... and you're looking at a time-consuming project. All the while, canned crab is sitting there, seemingly promising an easier job, but with less crab flavor. But what if buying canned crab didn't actually mean settling? Canned seafood as a pantry staple has seen an explosion in popularity as people realize how tasty it actually is, and learn that it can be just as flavorful as fresh seafood for anyone who doesn't live by the coast.

First and foremost, for a homemade meal canned crab is far more affordable, with 8-ounce cans often coming in at around a dollar per ounce or less. Common crab legs yield 50% meat by purchase weight because of the shell, so to get that much meat you'll need to buy a pound of legs, which can be 25% to 50% more expensive. Even if you do live close to a source of fresh crab, it's not always in season. A few places in the southern U.S. like Florida can get fresh crab year-round, but in areas like the northeast or California, the season is six months or shorter.

Canned crab makes homemade crab ravioli quick and delicious

It's true that canned crab will not give you that strong crabby flavor the really fresh stuff will, but it still has a mildly sweet, seafood taste that can capture what you want from a seafood ravioli. While this wouldn't be ideal for a real crab forward dish, crab ravioli recipes use a mix of crab meat and other tasty ingredients like ricotta cheese, egg, and lemon, so you don't need the taste of the crab to carry everything by itself. A well done crab ravioli recipe has a creamy and rich filling, with the briny sweetness of the meat just part of the equation. Canned crab meat can get you most of what you get from fresh at a lower cost, and most people will barely notice the difference.

Finally, you can't overlook the ease of canned crab. Steaming and cracking crabs to scrape out all the meat can be an hour of work by itself, and you're doing this while also kneading and rolling out your ravioli dough. (It's no wonder people normally leave this stuff to the professionals.) Meanwhile, the alternative is just peeling back the top of a can. With all the crab prep work out of the equation, the filling for your ravioli can come together in just a few minutes, taking all the chore out of it. For all but the most devout fresh crab lovers, the canned stuff is clearly a winning choice.