Buying Dungeness crab is half the battle – the rest comes when you have to cook it. Once you have acquired your Dungeness crab, your attention will turn to preparing it. The great thing about crab, and seafood in general, is that it is a great canvas for different flavors. So long as you prepare the crab correctly, you will be able to preserve the tender texture and fresh flavor. We will run through basic instructions for prepping your Dungeness crab and give you recipe ideas.
Dungeness Crab Prices
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Steps for Cleaning Dungeness Crab
The first step to accomplish before cooking your Dungeness crab is cleaning it. Kitchn lays out clear steps to this process for breaking down a whole crab. The steps involve breaking off the legs and claws and cleaning out the main shell of the crab. Once you have properly cleaned the crab and have broken down the crab into parts, you are ready to start cooking it.
If you purchase Dungeness crab claws that are already cooked, you can skip the step of cleaning it. Buying pre-cooked claws does have the advantage of being ready to heat and eat. However, cleaning fresh crab is not that much of a hassle if you wanted to attempt it.
Try Steaming Dungeness Crab Claws
One of the most basic ways to prepare Dungeness crab is steaming the claws. A steaming setup consists of filling a pot large enough to hold the crab legs and claws with a couple of inches of water. You then place the claws within the pot, preferably resting on a steam tray that allows the steam to encapsulate all of the crab. The water vapor gently brings the crab to temperature and preserves the delicate texture of the crab.
Steamed Dungeness crab pairs well with Old Bay seasoning and melted butter, like this McCormick recipe suggests. Within 20 minutes, you can enjoy perfectly cooked and flavored crab. You can also amp up the steaming liquid by adding white wine and lemon or jazz up the melted butter with garlic and herbs, like this recipe does.
Boiling Dungeness Crab Claws
A common way to cook Dungeness claws is to boil them. In this method, you submerge the crab in salty, boiling water along with any seasonings you like. The saltwater seasons the crab while it is cooking without making the meat rubbery. Food Network has an easy-to-follow recipe for this method. Be sure to monitor the crab claws to prevent overcooking.
Roasting Dungeness Crab Claws
A third way to cook Dungeness claws and legs is oven roasting them. This cooking method allows the flavors to meld together to make for a cohesive dish. Before putting the crab in the oven, you will need to boil or steam them first. The Spruce Eats recommends cooking the crab in a hot oven with plenty of aromatics for the best results. The crab takes 10 minutes at most to be properly heated.
These three methods are the main ways to cook Dungeness claws. You can use these as a basic method to cook your crab which you can then use in any number of recipes.
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