How to Cook Whole Dungeness Crab

Dungeness crab are a West Coast staple and are sold live up and down the coastline—growing up, these are the type of crab we caught as often as we could get out on the boat … once caught, we’d place them in large buckets of ocean water until we were back on shore and it was time to cook. And although it’s not always easy to find whole dungeness crab anywhere other than the West Coast, during the holidays and special seafood events, CostCo does have them in limited supply, as do many specialty grocery stores. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, or two, or three … (plan on one per person) then do so. Don’t be afraid to cook whole crab! It’s beyond easy and beyond delicious. Here’s how:

Boil 6-8 cups of water in a large stockpot. You need enough water so it won’t evaporate, but you do not want to submerge the crab. You’re steaming it, rather than boiling it directly. Once the water is boiling, place crab in pot, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, immediately dunk crab into cold water to stop the cooking process. Serve with melted butter, lemon wedges, and maybe a little Tabasco sauce. That’s all there is to it. Enjoy! Learn more about other varieties of crab in my Guide to Crustaceans.

A note about my recipes … most of what I cook isn’t a precise science. It’s look, taste and feel. And I encourage you to cook the same way. Add a little more of this, or a little less of that … and pay attention … and before long you’ll be a wiz at cooking seafood.

Coming up NEXT on the blog … what to do with leftover crab and how to poach salmon.

Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox