Best boiled crab

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15 min


2 Servings


  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 live crabs , about 750 g each
  • 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup melted butter , for dipping


  • Add salt to a big pot filled with water to 3 in. from top. Bring to a boil. Hold each crab at the bottom end and rinse under cold running water to remove sand and debris. Gently ease each crab into boiling water. Cook, partially covered, until the shell turns bright red, 12 to 15 min. Using tongs, remove to a colander to drain and cool, 5 min.
  • Turn each crab bottom-side up and remove T-shaped apron when cool enough to handle. Pry top shell off. If there is crab butter in the cavity and shell, scrape it into a bowl to use later (see Kitchen tip, below) or discard it. Scrape off gills and discard.
  • Cut cooked crabs in half using a knife. Crack crab claws and legs with a nutcracker or a mallet. Dig out meat with a shellfish picker or a fork. Arrange on a platter. Serve with lemon wedges and butter for dipping.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 389,
  • Protein
  • 37 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 4 g,
  • Fat
  • 25 g,
  • Sodium
  • 781 mg.

Kitchen tip:

Crab butter is soft and yellow, and found inside the back of the shell of a large crab. Considered a delicacy by many, it can be added to dressings and sauces served with crab.