Recipes San Francisco

to cook a crab


For the first time since he started working at Amoeba last July, Jordan had a Saturday off. Happiness! A shared day off work most definitely meant that an adventure was in order. We decided to explore Point Reyes and Tomales Bay to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. Luckily for us, our good friends Matt and Alexa were also game and prepared an agenda full of amazing food and beautiful scenery.

We hit up the classic Pine Cone Diner (lovingly called The Cone by locals, aka Matt) explored the tiny town of Point Reyes Station and then went on a hike through Point Reyes National Seashore. After some leisurely hiking,  it was on to the main event … oysters! Hog Island Oyster Co was the destination of choice. A few picnic tables in the sun and the freshest oysters you’ll ever eat, all right next to the pristine Tomales Bay—heaven on Earth.

Still feeling that oyster buzz, we decided to grab a big ole dungeness crab and a few more oysters from their retail shop on the way out. Matt and Alexa also bought two crabs and those lively guys were trying to escape their icy cooler all the way home. Amazingly fresh seafood, round two!

To Cook A Crab

I’d never cooked a crab before. My only prior experience with cooking the larger members of the crustacean family was Lobster Day over a year ago. To be honest, Jordan did all of the real work in both of these experiments, but I did take good notes.

There are several different ways to cook a crab, but we decided to keep it simple and take the steaming route. Boil a few inches of water in a large stock pot with the steamer insert. Put the crab in the pot and steam for 8 minutes per pound with the lid cocked.

Remove the crab from the pot and rinse with cold water.  Flip the crab over and pull off the apron (the oval/triangular belly of the crab). At this point the crab guts will ooze out all over your counter. You’ll need to sop these up with some paper towels and carry on. Some folks like to eat the guts, but we didn’t this time due to unanticipated oozing. With the guts removed,  you have access to the gills and mandible, which you should also remove. Now you’re left with a delicious crab body and delicious crab legs. Take some scissors to the table and enjoy! We dunked ours in melted butter. Something magical happens when crab meets butter, that’s a fact.

And if you’re curious about shucking oysters at home, here’s how.