Dungeness Crabs! It's time!

I always would have a toast to the crabs and then give them a splash of beer before going into the pot . I had to cook my own because once they were finished cooking they went immediately into ice in the sink with no water . It’s all about the cooling . I dont think this is happening for store bought .Correct me if I am wrong .

1 Like

Huh… I’m just reading this Chinese cookbook with pictures and the guy just knives through the abdomen of the crab lol.

Anywho, anyone have some good recipes?

My personal favorite right now is chopping up a bunch of ginger and scallions and jalpeños. Mix that with a bit of chicken stock and a splash of white wine and I think it tastes delicious with rice…

1 Like

I mostly use a Boulevard (San Francisco restaurant) recipe for crab cakes, one for “hoppin’ john with crab”, and aspire to one for a magnificent chili crab. I don’t seem to have any recipes on hand for sharing.

hah! I didn’t. :smoking:

And yes, even tho I was born in NY, I’ve been in CA (first L.A.) since I was 3 mos. old.

Uh, of course, I wasn’t smoking until considerably later. :smiley:

1 Like

$6.99 at Country Square Market. And they didn’t have rice noodles rolls or wrappers. :slightly_frowning_face:

Ode to Melanie Wong

" Melanie Wong 01/07/0111:26pm re: Fred

Instead of boiling, you might try steaming the crabs. I like to cook my own because I want the crab fat under the carapace and it must be freshly cooked. If you boil them, most of the fat runs out into the boiling liquid. The flavor is much more intense, the meat is less water-logged and needs no added salt when steamed. But I will caution you that the aroma when you take the lid off is incredibly overpowering because all the crab juices are concentrated into such a small amount of liquid.

Only an inch of water is needed in the bottom of the pan, takes less time to heat up. Once it’s boiling, lay the live crab in the pot dorsal side down (to catch the fat in the carapace). Hold it from the posterior end and the claws can’t reach you. Depending on size, cooking time is 12 to 17 mins. The legs will be ready in 12 mins., and sometimes I’ll pull those off to start cracking while the rest of the crab finishes cooking."


I want to make this chili crab recipe from Serious Eats but usually get into a rabbit hole about starting from raw, and using the innards.

One of my steamed crabs.


Great method. Pretty much what I used to do.


Ohhh! Now I get it.

The steamed crab I’ve tasted is great. I’m making stock from the shells et al for gumbo and jambalaya. Not sure about the et al. I’m thinking I shouldn’t let it boil.

Crab stock

Shellfish stock


I think a slow, below-boil simmer is right for all stocks. But I’m surprised at the long cooking time in the first recipe. For me, fish and shellfish stocks don’t benefit from long simmers. With meat and poultry, the longer time (up to 3-4 hours) extracts more flavor and dissolves the connecting tissue, adding body. Fish and shellfish don’t have that connecting tissue, and longer cooking can extract bitterness.

I didn’t even notice the long cook time! The one I ended up using cautioned against it. Now that I’m looking at it I realize I only ended up booking shells et al , and a bit of onion, but didn’t have the rest of the aromatics, a d hoped to figure it out later.

I should add that fish and shellfish stocks reduce well, once the bones and shells are strained out. I reduce by about 1/3, for a richer flavor.

1 Like

Ahhh! Perfect! So is there a way you would reccomended I add the aromatics? Also, although I strained it through cheese cloth, it is still a bit cloudy. Would you reccommend just pouring off the clear part to reduce?

When I make stock, it’s just the meat/fish/shellfish, to make a base. I add all flavorings when using the stock to make soup, stew or braise. I live alone, so the stock goes into 1 quart containers and into the freezer. I don’t care whether the stock is clear. Straining in a colander works fine (but cheesecloth works, too).

Two local fish markets sell “chowder bits”, various fish trimmings, at a very low price, $3.50 a pound at one of them. I’ll saute the aromatics (shallot, garlic), add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Sometimes I’ll add a can of drained gigante beans. The fish trimmings go in last, taking only about five minutes to cook.


This morning 99 Ranch on Grant Rd. in Mt. View is now at $7.99/lb, very lively. On Friday they were at $5.99… Cooked fresh at Costco Redwood City are $5.99/lb.


The reason us west coasters like to cook our own crab is that Dungeness crab loses flavor fast once it cools down. I have fished hundreds if not thousands of Dungeness crab in my life time living on the Mendocino coast and they are not the same flavor wise after they have been sitting on ice for who knows how long. The other thing that pev’s me is why does this country head their shrimp? It’s like pulling the cork off a little flavor bomb.


I’m with you. Since I only eat Dungeness crab 1-2 times a year I like to do it right. Buy them live off the boats in Half Moon Bay and steam them that day, with butter, lemon sourdough baguette and a nice white wine. I get more than we can eat so that I have leftovers for crabcakes or crab pasta the next night.


@brisket44 @Foodhunter; are you eating tomalley this year? Some years there are warnings.

Serious Eats; The Nasty Bits

Crab fat is the New Butter- 2015 Bar Crudo

Crab fat linguini


I usually do - I plan to get some in the week after Christmas so will check the warnings - thanks for reminding me!