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How to Prepare Dungeness Crab

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I've lived in the SF Bay Area for years, but I've never had dungeness crab. I'm having friends over for a weekend get-together and decided it's time to give it a whirl. I bought a couple pre-cooked, and I know how to clean it. But I honestly have no idea how to serve it. Hot? Cold? Entirely shelled? With a sauce? I'm really at a loss. Any suggestions?

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  1. Cold. I remove the shell on the outer part of the body and the underneath part also. (Don't know what that's called.) Rinse all that off including the "gills." Break the claws and legs off. Break the body in half. (This isn't nearly informative enough. Maybe you can google better instructions.) Have a set of nutcrackers (or crab crackers), picks and seafood forks for each person. I like melted butter with a squeeze (or more) of lemon. Sourdough bread with butter and steamed artichoke with both butter and mayo. That, to me, is the perfect crab meal. I like to eat this sitting on the floor with newspapers spread around. I've been eating it this way since 1978 and it's never disappointed me :)

    1. What I do: buy the crabs the day I serve them, have the fishmonger clean and crack and place each in its own bag. A hour before dinner time, take out of refrig, place one each on a plate, serve w/ sauces (butter, louis, tartar, whatever), french bread, green or pasta salad (opt) and white wine... Get cracking and enjoy!

      1. Sometimes if they seem 'wet' I like to throw them on the grill (partly cleaned) to warm them up and dry them out a bit...........yum. butter and lemon and sourdough.............

        1. Great suggestions, all. Thanks so much! I now know exactly what to do.

          1. My favorite is crab louia. First, hard-boil some eggs. I make a dressing with meyo, ketchup, lemon uice, pickle relish and parsley.

            Mince some celery and put on a platter. Top that with lettuce, and crab meat atop that. Pour dressing over this. Quarter eggs and set around the edges (and tomato wedges if you like).

            This must be served with sourdough French bread.