Blue Crab Recipes
Maryland Blue Crab
The Chesapeake Bay crustacean might be one of the most memorable symbols of Maryland.
When people speak of the state they will many times mention how much they enjoy eating steamed blue crabs. When the blue crabs mature, they will often average five to seven inches
in width across their body. The supply of crabs is most abundant in late spring
through late fall each year. Crab meat is available in many forms year round from a variety of seafood markets. The scientific name for blue crab
is Callinectes sapidus, and means beautiful
swimmer that is savory.
• Buy Maryland Blue Crabs
• Order Steamed Hard Crabs
• Maryland soup crabs
The crab season in Maryland each year starts April
1 and runs through late fall. Legal size hard crabs must be at least 5 inches from point to
point across the back, while soft crabs must be at least 3 1/2 inches across the back.
In general, you can buy or purchase live crabs by the dozen
or by the bushel from most vendors. When buying, you will notice that the crabs are typically graded
by their size. Also make sure to buy live crabs that display a
lot of movement. Cook only live crabs. Make sure that live and cooked crabs do not
touch each other or be stored in
the same container. It is important to adhere to this step to prevent cross
contamination from bacteria normally found
on raw food products. Utilizing proper cooking techniques kills
While this tasty crustacean can be enjoyed with various cooking techniques, most will agree that the traditional cooking method is to steam
blue crabs with seasonings scattered over the tops of the crabs. Serve them whole on a platter with dipping butter on the side, and dig in for some delicious crab meat. The meat from hard shell blue crabs can also be used
in various types of chowders, stews, soups or sauces. When stored in airtight plastic bags, steamed crabs
may be kept in the refrigerator 5-7 days.
While you can find crabs in other parts of the U.S., it is generally accepted that Maryland produces some of the
best crab meat anywhere. The succulent body meat from Callinectes sapidus, is delicate and firm and the claw meat
The blue crab can be found from Cape Cod to South
America, but the greatest catch numbers are seen from Maryland through Texas. Typically crab meat that is imported from foreign
countries (other than Mexico and South
America) comes from another species of crab.
In Maryland, crab meat
must be steamed rather than boiled, which results
in better tasting crab meat that has a longer shelf
life and contains less water weight, which provides the
consumer with more crab per pound.
Crab meat processing plants will steam the crabs in advance. They are
placed into containers and sold to restaurants, kitchens
and stores. Fresh crab meat is packaged in plastic
containers and should be stored on ice or in the
coolest part of your refrigerator and used quickly, typically within
three to five days.
Maryland Blue Crab is packed in containers
as fresh or pasteurized and is available in the
• JUMBO LUMP
These are the largest pieces of meat from the body
portion, and is next to the backfin. This type is usually more desireable
in recipes where the look of the dish is important. An excellent choice for dishes such as crab imperial, crab salad, and high end crab cakes.
It is white body meat that will consist of lump and
flakes. Generally, the pieces may be smaller than jumbo lump
but can be used in the same recipes that call for lump.
It is an excellent choice for crab cakes and stuffings
for fish and poultry.
Flakes of white body meat other than the
lump meat from the main body of the crab.
Wonderful for crab soups, casseroles and dips.
• CLAW MEAT
The Bbrownish meat from the claw has a
sweet, nutty flavor. The claw meat is great to use to use in stews, soups,
crab balls and claw-burgers. Claw meat is the least expensive crab meat.
• COCKTAIL CLAW
The claw meat is attached to a section of the
pincher. Ideal as an appetizer, delectable dipped
in melted butter.
• Scientific classification:
Species: C. sapidus
• Maryland Crab Houses and Restaurants
• Crab houses in Baltimore Maryland
• Soft Shell blue crabs
• Crab Cobb Salad
• Maryland Blue Crab Cake Panini
• Pan fried soft shell blue crabs
• Maryland Blue Crab File Okra Gumbo