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

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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