Steamed Crab Recipe: A Delicious Seafood Dish for Any Occasion – Seaco Online
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Steamed Crab Recipe: A Delicious Seafood Dish for Any Occasion

If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-make seafood dish, a steamed crab recipe is a great option. Steaming is a simple cooking method that preserves the natural sweetness and flavour of the crab, making it a popular choice for seafood lovers.

Whether you're using fresh crab from the ocean or bay, or frozen crab legs, steaming is an excellent way to cook it.

Preparing the crabs for steaming is an essential step in the process. You'll need to keep the crabs chilled and clean them thoroughly before cooking.

You can use a seafood seasoning and kosher salt to add flavour to the crabs.

Once the crabs are ready, you can start steaming them.

The cooking time will depend on the size of the crabs, so make sure to check them regularly to avoid overcooking.

Key Takeaways

  • Steaming is a simple and delicious way to cook crab while preserving its natural sweetness and flavour.
  • Preparing the crabs for steaming involves cleaning them thoroughly and seasoning them with seafood seasoning and kosher salt.
  • Steaming time depends on the size of the crabs, so make sure to check them regularly to avoid overcooking.

Preparing the Crabs

Crabs being seasoned, placed in a steamer, and cooked until tender

Before you start steaming your crabs, you need to prepare them properly. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Selecting the Right Crab

When selecting crabs, it's important to choose fresh ones that are still alive. Look for crabs that are active and have all their legs intact.

If you're unsure about how to choose crabs, ask the fishmonger for advice.

Thawing and Cleaning

If you're using frozen crab legs, you'll need to thaw them before steaming.

Place them in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight until they're fully thawed.

Once thawed, rinse the crab legs under cold water to remove any ice crystals.

If you're using fresh crab, you'll need to clean them first.

Remove the top shell and discard the gills and any innards. Rinse the crabs under cold water to remove any impurities.

Seasoning Mix

To add flavour to your steamed crabs, you'll need to create a seasoning mix.

You can use a store-bought seasoning mix like Old Bay or make your own. Here's a simple recipe to get you started:

  • 1/4 cup rock salt
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Now that you know how to prepare your crabs, it's time to start steaming them.

Cooking and Serving

A large steaming pot with whole crabs, a bowl of melted butter, and a platter with lemon wedges and parsley

Steaming the Crab

Now that you have prepared your steamed crab or crab legs, it's time to cook them.

Steaming is one of the best ways to cook crab because it keeps the meat tender and juicy.

To steam your crab, you will need a large pot with a steamer basket or a steamer pot.

Fill the pot with enough water to reach just below the steamer basket or rack. Add a tablespoon of salt and bring the water to a boil over medium heat.

Once the water is boiling, place the crab or crab legs in the steamer basket or on the rack.

Cover the pot with a lid and steam the crab for about 10-12 minutes for fresh crab legs or 15-20 minutes for whole crabs. Use a timer to keep track of the cooking time.

Serving Suggestions

Steamed crab is a delicious dish that can be served in many ways.

You can serve it with melted butter or a dipping sauce made with lemon juice, butter, and seasonings like celery seed and parsley. Lemon wedges can also be served on the side.

To make the dish more complete, you can serve it with side dishes like corn on the cob or a fresh salad.

Some people like to serve their steamed crab on a bed of newspaper, which makes for easy clean up.

Safety and Clean Up

When cooking and serving steamed crab, it's important to take safety measures.

Always use tongs or a crab pick to handle the crab as it can be hot and difficult to handle.

Wear an apron to protect your clothes from any guts or roe that may spill out.

After you have finished eating, clean up can be made easier by using a cooler or aluminum foil to dispose of any shells and other waste.

Remember to always wash your hands and surfaces thoroughly after handling and cooking crab to avoid any potential foodborne illnesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

A large pot of boiling water with steam rising, surrounded by fresh, whole crabs and various seasonings

What's the best way to steam a crab?

The best way to steam a crab is to use a large pot with a steaming basket. Fill the pot with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil.

Place the crab in the basket, cover the pot, and steam for about 10-15 minutes.

You can also add seasonings like Old Bay or garlic to the water for extra flavour.

How long should you steam whole crabs for?

The cooking time for steaming whole crabs depends on the size of the crab.

As a general rule, you should steam crabs for about 10-15 minutes per pound. Be sure to check that the meat is fully cooked and opaque before serving.

Is it preferable to boil or steam crabs, and why?

Steaming is generally considered the best method for cooking crabs because it preserves their natural sweetness and flavour.

Boiling can cause the crab meat to become waterlogged and lose some of its flavour.

Steaming also allows you to add seasonings and aromatics to the water, which can infuse the crab with extra flavour.

Should you clean crabs before steaming them?

Yes, it's important to clean crabs before steaming them to remove any sand or debris that might be trapped in their shells.

Rinse the crabs under cold running water and scrub them with a brush to remove any dirt or grime. You can also remove the crab's gills and other organs if desired.

What's the secret to making a Chinese-style steamed crab?

The secret to making a Chinese-style steamed crab is to use a combination of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in the steaming liquid.

You can also add other seasonings like rice wine or sesame oil for extra flavour. Be sure to serve the crab with plenty of steaming liquid and a side of steamed rice.

Why do some recipes recommend adding vinegar when steaming crabs?

Adding vinegar to the steaming liquid can help to tenderize the crab meat and make it easier to remove from the shell.

It can also help to neutralize any fishy odours that might be present. However, be careful not to add too much vinegar, as it can overpower the crab's natural flavour.