Dungeness Crabs! It's time!

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.

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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!

Dungeness Crab Health Advisory Lifted in Parts of Marin County!

CDPH initially warned consumers on November 1, 2019 not to consume the viscera of Dungeness crab in that region.


I just saw a show on the tonga room in san Fran. Their chili crab looked killer! I looked on google for a few and didn’t see a recipe, but I’m sure it is there.


Picked up some nice lively ones at a local Asian grocery (99 Ranch Grant Rd. in Mountain View) this morning, living dangerously, ate the crab butter aka tomalley :yum:. Steamed & cleaned them to bring up to friends tomorrow as they are scarce where they live. Interesting watching the price climb as Christmas gets closer. They were $5.99/lb on Friday, $7.99/lb today.


My chili crab! Well…my chili crab leftovers.

Soooo many recipes out there!


We got a few Dungeness yesterday at Pacific Market (Westborough, Daly City), which, by the way, is a terrific store. Very large and $6.99 pound. Intentionally got too much for our family of 3 and will be making crab cakes.


@atomica, I’d love to hear how (ingredients and technique) you and others make their crab cakes. I usually try to use a Boulevard recipe.

Here is a thread started by @emglow101 circa '16

This one is good too.

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Back when we lived on the coast we had eight commercial style sport pots that we fished off the back of a 32 foot fishing boat. The boat comfortably set 8 people and on a good run we would pull 10 per person. Somebody would have the pot slow boiling by the time we got back to the dock where we would cook most of them and stand around eating them like cavemen throwing the shells in the river.
And then after our friends took some home who magically appeared without notice we would crack the rest setting aside the meat. from their everybody would take their meat home and make all kinds of different concoctions, crab cakes, crab Louie’s, crab sandwiches with fresh homemade bread and my favorite crab Pizza. After two or three days of that you really didn’t want to see another Dungeness crab till next season LOL. Those sure were the good old days.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
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