Finger Licking Oven-Roasted Dungeness Crab

Orca Bay is in the process of printing new boxes for our Dungeness Crab.  The boxes will contain 1-1/2 lb. of crab claws and legs.  The terrible, tedious task of creating a recipe to print on that box fell on my shoulders.  Oh, the stress of it all!

What I’ve concocted is a way to oven-roast these sweet morsels, then use some of the flavoring ingredients to create a dipping sauce for the ‘picked’ meat when you’re all done.   The spicy heat from the cayenne pepper is tasted first, but then clears the palate, leaving the sweet flavor of the crab to linger.

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to mention that this is not a neat and tidy dish to eat.  You don’t want to have Grandma’s heirloom tablecloth on the table when you serve this.  In fact, I would recommend you ignore the lemon-scented wet wipes and just go to the sink and use soap and water when you’re done!



1 box of Orca Bay Dungeness Crab Legs & Claws

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 Tbsp. minced shallot

1 tsp. celery salt

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, divided

1/4 C. lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)

1/2 tsp lemon zest

I tried a second version of this, substituting pink grapefruit for the lemon juice.  I had purchased a Texas pink grapefruit at the grocery store, medium sized.  The juice of half this grapefruit equaled 1/4 C. or just slightly more.  This was a very nice version, not quite as acidic as with the lemon juice.  A couple tasters preferred it.  So if you are feeling adventurous, give it a try.

The crab was frozen solid in what is called a cluster, or a half crab.  There were three clusters in the box.  I wanted individual legs and claws for this dish, but was unable to break them apart frozen like this.  I put the clusters in a large pot and ran cold water from the sink into the pot.  Within four minutes I could easily break the legs from the cluster; I shook off the water and went ahead with the recipe.


Preheat oven to 475oF.  Place the olive oil & butter in an oven-proof skillet & bring to medium high heat.  When butter foaming subsides, add the garlic, shallots, celery salt, paprika, cayenne & black pepper, & half the parsley.  Immediately add the crab legs & claws; turn with tongs to coat the crab, then move the skillet to the preheated oven.  Roast the crab for 15 minutes, turning with tongs half way through, until crab reaches an internal temperature of 165oF.  Move the skillet to the stove top; lift the crab to a serving platter.  Turn the heat to medium high & add the lemon juice & zest.  Reduce the sauce by half, 3 minutes.  Pour over the crab legs and claws & garnish with remaining parsley.  Serves 2.

The finished dish, ready to eat!

All the ingredients, ready to go.

2 Responses to “Finger Licking Oven-Roasted Dungeness Crab”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Yummy yum yum Roger!!! looks fabulous and I’m sooo hungry.
    P.S. Orange Juice & zest in the directions but lemon on the list?? I know you mentioned grapefruit juice too which sounds equally lovely. Did you also try it with orange though?

  2. chefroger says:

    That is just too funny! That’s what happens when you are moving at 60 miles an hour but you can only type ten words a minute!! I’ll have to go in and make a few edits! To answer your question, though, Rebecca, the starting point for this recipe began with oranges. I had to make massive changes to that recipe, for reasons best explained over a quiet conversation on the back deck; however, the orange juice obviously never got “updated”. I’m glad to see you read the post!!!

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