Steamed Dungeness Crab with Herbed Butter

Steamed Dungeness Crab with Herbed Butter
Photo by Kelley Jordan

Simple, Classic & Delicious

Steamed Dungeness Crab with Herbed Butter | Sitka Salmon Shares

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Serves: 2


  • 2 Dungeness crab clusters
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil or tarragon, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Thaw Crab

Thaw crab in the refrigerator 8-10 hours or overnight.

Prepare steaming broth

Combine water, white wine, half of the lemon and 2 tablespoons of the fresh herbs in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottom pot. Insert a raised steaming basket and bring to a boil over high heat. 

Steam Crab

Place Dungeness crab clusters in the steaming insert and sprinkle crab clusters with 1 teaspoon of the Old Bay seasoning. Cover the pot and steam for about 5 minutes or until the crab is heated through. 

Make Butter Sauce

While crab steams, combine the butter, remaining tablespoon of fresh herbs and Old Bay Seasoning in a small bowl. 


To serve, remove crab clusters from the steaming pot and drain any water. Serve on a platter alongside herbed butter sauce and remaining lemon wedges. 

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Pro Tips

Get Creative with Crab

Get Creative with Crab

Dungeness crab has a mild, salty taste with a hint of sweetness. This flavor profile makes it a versatile and delicious protein to add to many of the snacks you are already accustomed to making. Try it as a topping for nachos, toss it into your favorite linguine recipe, add it to mac and cheese for a west-coast take on the famous lobster mac, or even make a crab salad!

Breaking Down Your Crab

Breaking Down Your Crab

Wondering how to break down your Dungeness crab legs? We wrote a short blog, with photos, all about it. 

Click here to learn how to break down your Dungeness crab legs. 

Kirk’s Drunken Spot Shrimp

Kirk’s Drunken Spot Shrimp

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 pound spot shrimp in their shells and cook for 1 minute on each side. Transfer shrimp to a serving bowl. Lower the heat and add 4 tablespoons butter and 5 finely chopped garlic cloves. Sauté for 30 seconds. Carefully add 1/2 cup tequila, 1–2 tablespoons hot sauce, and the juice from 1 lime. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over spot shrimp and serve with crusty bread for dipping.

Kirk’s pro cooking tip: This is a great appetizer, best served with lots of napkins. If you want the shells for stock, remove them before cooking the shrimp.

Spot Shrimp and Veggie Stir-Fry

Spot Shrimp and Veggie Stir-Fry

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp sambal oelek (or other chili-garlic paste), 1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, 1/3 c sweet chile sauce, 1 tsp minced or grated ginger, 2 Tbsp cilantro, and the juice from 1/2 lime.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and 1 lb spot shrimp and stir-fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until just opaque. Transfer to a plate. 
  3. Over medium-high heat, add 1 head of broccoli cut into florets and 1/4 c of water. Cover and steam for 5–7 minutes, until nearly  tender. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the pan.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil to the pan. Add 2 sliced bell peppers and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes. Add 1 sliced red onion and stir-fry until browned in spots and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes more. Add 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, 2 thinly sliced scallions,
  5. 1 cup snow peas, and 2 sliced chile peppers (if using). Stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until fragrant. Return broccoli to the pan, add 3/4 of the sauce, and stir-fry to combine. 
  6. Serve veggies with spot shrimp over steamed rice with remaining sauce.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

Steamed Dungeness Crab with Herbed Butter Recipe | Sitka Salmon Shares
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