Last weekend was a big weekend for west coasters—it marked the opening of Dungeness crab season. Big and thick-shelled with sweet, tender meat, Dungeness crabs are prized by chefs in California, Oregon and Washington. Lucky for them and for crab-loving home cooks, this year’s season could be record-breaking. Here, nine delicious recipes for the West Coast’s favorite crustacean.
1. Dungeness Crab Cioppino
Chef Michael Mina’s late mother-in-law, Judith Tirado, always prepared cioppino for Christmas Eve dinner. Now he carries on the tradition by making her hearty, briny recipe, full of crab, shrimp and clams.
2. Crab Louie
This fresh, classic salad is filling enough to be a perfect lunch or light dinner.
3. Brioche Crab Melts
Vitaly Paley, the chef and owner of Paley’s Place, created this indulgent version of the classic tuna melt while competing in a cook-off sponsored by the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. He won first place.
4. Farfalle with Crabmeat and Oregano Butter
Delicate crabmeat is terrific with sun-dried tomatoes and white wine.
5. Spicy Crab Bisque
This luxe crab bisque is studded with plenty of crabmeat. Thanks to a hit of cayenne and Tabasco, the soup has a sneaky heat.
6. Coconut-Crab Cocktail
Bobby Flay combines morsels of sweet crab with Asian flavors—coconut milk, piquant lime juice and aromatic cilantro—then serves it with salty chips.
7. Steamed Dungeness Crab with Meyer Lemon Aioli
This bright aioli made with farm-fresh eggs, olive oil and Meyer lemons is the perfect condiment for steamed crab.
8. Crab-and-Celery-Root Remoulade
A classic French dish of mayo-dressed celery root, remoulade is incredible with crab.
9. Cucumber–Grapefruit Crab Salad
This salad is healthy but satisfying, thanks to the succulent crab.