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Sep 22, 2011 09:41 PM

Dungeness crab marinade and grilling tips (Split from San Francisco board)

I'm still looking for the recipe for this 1 hour marinade for crab, and any tips on grilling crab!

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  1. Should ask on home cooking board, but I'd try starting with, per 2 crabs, 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 2 cloves pressed garlic, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds. The point of grilling it is to warm it up, but not "cook it." If you cook it too much or heat it too much, the meat is going to get stringy, tough, and dry. Adjust the recipe to your taste--those spices all taste good with crab and together, so the ratio is really up to you.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SteveG

      Excellent - thanks, SteveG - the spice ratio in the marinade really had me stumped - I'll be mixing this up and looking forward to the upcoming Dungeness season!

      I totally agree with you about not overcooking this on the grill- we really enjoyed the very slight char we got from the shells (a hot Weber fire), as we took the cracked pieces from the marinade - when served, the char on the shells and the marinade spices got on our fingers as we extracted the meat from the pieces, and was delicious! A loaf of good SF bread and a salad made this a feast!

      Can you think of any other sides and a dessert you could see served with this meal, especially for a crowd of, say 10 guests? I was thinking of Key Lime Pie. Any suggestions?

      1. re: DpBluSea

        Well, my family's post-christmas lunch is usually crab, and we usually have a lemon meringue to go with; your key lime pie idea is right on ;-)

        The crab, drawn butter, and bread ends up pretty filling, so we don't usually do much more than make a delicate butter lettuce salad, sometimes with citrus segments or persimmons depending on the season.

        Maybe a broth-based soup, light textured, would go nicely with the other food without being too filling.

        Post back on the spices you end up using! That list I gave is just a seat of the pants guess of where I would start. Fine-chopped or grated fresh ginger is also great with crab like this, as is finely chopped scallion. Those are the additions you would find in a wok-seared marinated crab in a vietnamese restaurant.

      2. re: SteveG

        SteveG -
        I'm going for live crabs off the boat on Saturday am - the crab we roasted before I believe was bought cooked and cleaned -

        I plan to buy the crabs live, ice them till dinnertime - then.... to get to the point where we marinate and roast them on the grill - what should I do? Should I cook and clean them? Steam or boil? Or should I kill them and clean them (raw) and just marinate, then grill? Don't want to overcook - but since this is my first time with live crabs I need a little guidance on the sequence of steps.......Any help is appreciated, from all you guys!

        1. re: DpBluSea

          Although the recipe we used before for Marinated Grilled Dungeness Crab (with Fennel seed and other great spices) used cleaned cooked crab from the supermarket, to start - - - seems to me that with fresh LIVE crabs, we could kill and clean them, marinate them, then grill - avoiding twice-cooking the crab - do you agree?

          Thanks for your patience. Replies from everyone are appreciated.

      3. Just boiled, plain with Best Foods Mayo. Pure and simple.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vegasmike

          vegasmike, you are right on! Steamed or boiled with nothing to defile the sweet taste of the crab. Mayo plain or Louie dressing is best.
          A classic case of when less is more...