Confession time – I’ve never personally tried this recipe. It’s in my collection in the hopes that some day I’ll have access to live blue crabs. And when I do, that I’ll have what it takes to cook ’em live. To those of you that can get ’em and cook ’em, how I envy you!
As many of you know, we recently spent some time exploring the Pacific Northwest. Love that part of America. In our neck of the woods, the Dungeness Crab is king. Walk down any coastal fish market, and the whole Dungeness Crab is easy to find. I know, I should have had my fill of Crab in Seaside, Depoe Bay, Newport and Florence. But I didn’t take a single bite of these bottom-dwellers, going for the fresh Halibut and Shrimp instead. Maybe that’s because San Francisco isn’t so far off that I cannot get my hands on Dungeness Crab anytime the mood strikes. Still, I’d love to have some Blue Crab. If for no other reason than the Blue Crab is a better looking crab alive than the Dungeness variety.
Come on, fess up – in a beauty contest the Blue Crab wins! Am I right? However; steamed they all look fairly similar. Then it just comes down to a matter of taste. That’s where the country is truly divided. Ask anyone in New England and they’d tell you hands down, it’s the Blue. Stop a person on the streets of Seattle and it’s Dungeness all the way. But then again, head for Alaska and the King is the King.
For those of you able, give this recipe a try. Let me know what you think. Who knows, maybe I’ll order some live crab of the Blue and Dungeness families and compare the two side by side. But then again, it all comes down to personal tastes, doesn’t it?
Old Bay Maryland Steamed Blue Crabs
1 (12 oz) bottle Lager-style Beer
1 cup Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
12 live Blue Crabs, preferably males (“Jimmies”)
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
Set up a steamer for the crabs. The steamer insert should sit 2 to 3 inches above the bottom of the pot so that the crabs do not touch the liquid beneath.
Add 1 1/2 cups water, lager, vinegar and 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning to the bottom of the pot. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer.
Layer the crabs in the steamer insert, generously sprinkling the salt and remaining seafood seasoning on each layer of crabs.
Cover the pot and steam the crabs for 30 minutes. The cooked crabs should be a bright orange color throughout with no trace of blue or green.
Original Recipe: The Cooking Channel