Stir-fried Crab Legs with Ginger-Scallion Butter

Stir-fried Crab Legs with Ginger-Scallion Butter
Photo by Grace Parisi

Meaty bairdi crab legs are briefly steamed just until heated through, then they get a quick flash in a wok (or skillet) with butter and aromatics to create the ultimate 5-napkin crab fest. Sturdy kitchen scissors make easy work of cutting the legs into manageable pieces.

Stir-fried Crab Legs with Ginger-Scallion Butter | Sitka Salmon Shares

Prep time: 30 min
Total time: 30 min
Serves: 2


  • 1 bairdi cluster (approx. 4 legs and body), thawed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped, plus some sliced for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or sambal oelek
  • ½ lime


Separate Crab

Separate the crab legs from the body and break into segments at the joints. Using a sturdy knife cut the body into 2 pieces. Cut the large section of each leg between the joints into 2 pieces using kitchen shears or a sturdy knife.


Place the crab into a wok or skillet with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Cover and steam just until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well and wipe out the pan.


Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the butter, oil, scallions, ginger, sesame seeds, and as much red pepper flakes or sambal as desired, and stir-fry just until sizzling. Add the crab and stir-fry until coated with the sizzling mixture. Transfer to a deep platter, scraping all of the butter and aromatics on top. Add a squeeze of lime and sprinkle with sliced scallions. Serve right away with claw crackers and lots of napkins. Dip the crab meat into the surrounding butter and enjoy!

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

Reach for an aromatic white wine or orange wine from grapes like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, or Muscat. Anything within the range of bone dry to a touch of sweetness will pair beautifully — it’s your call.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Add a bit of finely chopped lemongrass, lime leaves, and some toasted sesame oil for Southeast Asian flavors.

Change it Up

Change it Up

Fold leftover crab into steamed rice or noodles. Use the crab shells to make a flavorful stock.

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

To balance the natural richness of crab, swap out the butter with neutral oil such as peanut or safflower oil.


*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.

Stir-fried Crab Legs with Ginger-Scallion Butter Recipe | Sitka Salmon Shares

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