Dungeness crab is a delicious Pacific Northwest specialty. When cooked properly, the sweet meat of the crab shines. Follow these steps to learn how to clean, cook, and serve Dungeness crab.

1. How To Cook Dungeness Crab

1.1. How To Boil Dungeness Crab

Rinse the live crab under cold running water. Using a stiff brush, scrub the shell to remove debris.

Fill a large pot with enough water to fully submerge the crab pieces. Add 2 tbsp salt per gallon of water.

Bring the salted water to a rapid boil. Carefully drop in the crab pieces.

Cover and boil for 12-15 minutes until bright orange when fully cooked. Don’t overcook.

Drain and rinse crab under cold water 1-2 minutes to stop the cooking. Spread out to cool.

1.2. How To Steam Dungeness Crab

Rinse the live crab under cold running water. Using a stiff brush, scrub the shell to remove debris.

Fit a large pot with a steaming basket. Add 2 inches of water to the pot. Next, bring the water to a boil. When water boil, place crab pieces in the basket in a single layer.

Cover and steam for 13-15 minutes until bright orange when fully cooked. Don’t overcook.

Use tongs to transfer cooked crab from basket to a baking sheet. Cool briefly.

3. What To Serve Dipping Sauce With Dungeness Crab

Dungeness crab on its own is delicious, but it’s even better with a tasty dipping sauce. Here are some classic pairings

  • Drawn Butter – Melted salted butter is simple and delicious with crab. Mix in some lemon juice and parsley.
  • Aioli – Whip up this garlicky mayonnaise sauce. Add crab boil seasoning or saffron for extra flavor.
  • Cajun Remoulade – A zesty, spicy blend of mayo, mustard, hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning.
  • Lemon Butter – Melted butter kicked up with fresh lemon juice, zest, garlic, and pepper.
  • Cocktail Sauce – The classic crab pairing. Mix ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Mignonette Sauce – A simple French sauce of red wine vinegar, shallots, and cracked black pepper.
  • Hollandaise – The rich, eggy, buttery sauce works perfectly on top of crab.
  • Tartar Sauce – Combine mayonnaise, capers, chopped pickles, herbs, and a squeeze of lemon.

Serve crab with lemon wedges, crusty bread, and corn on the cob for a complete feast. Pairing cooked Dungeness crab with a creamy, tangy, or spicy dipping sauce elevates this sweet shellfish to new heights. Try classic drawn butter or Cajun remoulade for irresistible crab.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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