Let's Get Crackin'!

It's crab season! My friends and I are HUGE crustacean lovers.  We crack down on all the little tidbits in every cavity of these sea critters with great joy.  This past weekend my friend Alexis and I decided to boil some crabs to test out a recipe for our bigger crab boil which happened yesterday (see pictures on my Instagram!)  There were a few bumps in the road, e.g. a crab on the loose, but after screaming with tongs in one hand and a camera in the other we (and by we, I mean Alexis) managed to get them all in the pot.  Go Alexis!
So, maybe we should have put the crabs in the freezer for 10 minutes to slow down their heart rate before we boiled them, but we were too excited - as were they.  Also, we found yesterday that if you just leave the crabs alone for 30 mins they slow down due to suffocation.  However, after the battle, it was sweet (get it?) victory.

Serves 4
4 live Dungeness crabs
4 inches of water in a deep pot
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 lemon (whole)

Chili garlic sauce:
2 sticks of unsalted butter
8 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
2 Tbs. paprika
cayenne pepper to taste
your favorite hot sauce to taste

As I said earlier, bring the heart rate of the crabs down by putting them in the freezer for 10 mins prior or just leaving them out for 30 mins.  Boil the water with salt and lemon.  The steam will be enough to cook the crabs.  Putting live crabs in a pot full of water is unadvisable as the water level will rise drastically once you put them in.  If you don't have a large enough pot, work with the crabs 2 at a time.  Grab the crabs from behind with tongs.  Place them in the boiling water upside down so that their legs are facing up.  The last thing you want is a crab crawling out of the pot.  Place a heavy lid on top to steam.  Steam for 10 minutes or until they are completely orange.

Meanwhile, in a wide pan melt the butter under medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice, salt, lemon pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce.

Once the crabs are done, pull them out of the pot and douse them in the saucy pan, ohh yea...  If you like it The Boiling Crab style you can put the crabs in a large bag and pour the sauce inside.  Add precooked ears of corn and hot links to the bag.  Serve with mallets, nut crackers, or kitchen shears.

This is a fun meal to eat with friends. Getting your hands messy and saucy is half the fun.  Teaching and learning different cracking techniques is a great conversation topic.  At our larger crab boil yesterday we had 10 Dungeness crabs!  Everyone held their own crabs and dunked it into the water.  Some people did very well with it.  I, on the other hand, still let out a few screeches, but with the help of my friends was way better than the first time.


  1. Great pictures! I had the same thing happen once with lobsters.

    1. Did you freak out? At least they rubber band lobster claws =D Happy Holidays!


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