Steamed Dungeness crab is a five-star meal that's so quick and easy to prepare! Learn how to steam pre-cooked Dungeness crab in just 10 minutes!
Forget ordering Dungeness crab at a fancy seafood restaurant, it's so quick and easy to do at home — and much cheaper!
We're currently in crab season here in the pacific northwest, so we can get Dungeness crabs at most grocers or fish markets for affordable prices. They're such delicacy, so when they're plentiful and affordable, we squeeze them into our dinner rotation whenever possible. We also love to serve crab on special occasions, like Christmas or New Year's Eve, when available.
Pictured above is a large, two-pound Dungeness crab that is pre-cooked and cleaned of guts (which is why part of the middle portion is missing) by our local fishmonger. If you're buying a whole, pre-cooked Dungeness crab, be sure to ask the fishmonger to the clean the crab for you before purchasing.
We think steaming is the best way to heat pre-cooked Dungeness crab. For steaming, you'll need a large pot and a steamer basket or colander. We don't have a steamer basket, so we simply use a colander that fits inside the pot. We sometimes need to crack the legs apart to make it all fit, but it works. We then cover with the pot top (or tinfoil if need be) and steam for about 10 minutes. It's so simple!
Best of all, crab is low in fat and high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium. There are no carbs in one serving of crab. So eat up and enjoy!
How Much Crab To Buy Per Person
Most fishmongers recommend purchasing about 1 ½ pounds per person, especially if you're serving it with sides dishes such as a salad or prepared veggies. If you're not serving with any sides, then you may want to go with 2 pounds a person.
How to Thaw Frozen Crab
If you purchase frozen crab (as opposed to a previously frozen crab this has already been thawed), you'll need to defrost it before steaming. We recommend thawing it in the fridge for a day or two or at least over night (8 or more hours is recommended).
Buying Pre-Cooked, Previously-Frozen Crab
Obviously there is no need to thaw previously-frozen crab that has been thawed for you! We typically purchase crab this way since we usually eat it the same day we buy it.
When buying a whole pre-cooked Dungeness crab, be sure to ask the fishmonger to clean the crab (basically remove its guts) for you.
Be sure to eat or use the crab within 3 days of purchasing.
How To Steam Dungeness Crab
Step 1: Fill a large pot (we use a stock pot) with a few inches of water. Season the water with salt.
Step 2: Place a steamer basket or colander in the pot. Bring the water to boil.
Step 3: Place crab in steamer basket or colander. If you have a lot of crab, you may need to break apart or do in batches.
Step 4: Cover the pot with a lid or tinfoil and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until the meat is heated. When done, remove crab with tongs and place on serving plate. Serve immediately alongside crab/nut crackers and dipping sauces.
Crab Dipping Sauces
We love serving steamed crab with different types of crab dipping sauces. Our favorite crab dipping sauces include sugar-free cocktail sauce, Cajun butter sauce, lemon dill butter, a garlic and red pepper butter sauce, and our homemade garlic aioli. All of these are easy to make and can be made while the crab is steaming.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
How To Steam Dungeness Crab
- 1 ½ pounds of Dungeness crab per person
- Salt to season water
- Prepare pot: Fill a large pot (we use a stock pot) with a few inches of water. Season the water with salt.
- Boil water: Place a steamer basket or colander in the pot. Bring the water to boil.
- Prepare crab in pot: Break the crab into clusters to fit in steamer basket. Place crab in steamer basket or colander.
- Heat and serve: Cover the pot with a lid or tinfoil and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until the meat is heated. When done, remove crab with tongs and place on serving plate. Serve immediately alongside crab/nut crackers and dipping sauces.