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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Black Pepper Dungeness Crab

Dungeness crab is a Pacific coast favorite. This peppery recipe gets an Asian twist with cilantro, green onions, and soy sauce. Serve with steamed white rice.

Sunset SEPTEMBER 1998

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup minced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium or regular soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 cooked Dungeness crabs (4 3/4 to 5 1/2 lb. total), cleaned and cracked
  • 1/4 cup peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or salad oil


1. In a large bowl, combine cilantro, garlic, onions, ginger, soy, and honey. Add crab pieces. Cover and chill 15 minutes to 1 hour, turning crab often.

2. Coarsely grind pepper in a coffee grinder or crush with a rolling pin.

3. Pour oil into a 14-inch wok or 6- to 8-quart pan over medium-high heat. Pour crab, marinade, and 1 1/2 tablespoons pepper into wok. Stir often until crab is steaming hot, about 5 minutes.

4. Sprinkle remaining pepper over crab and mix well. Ladle crab and juices into bowls.

Note: Sharon Tobin starts with live crabs that she catches. If you start with live crabs, have your fishmonger kill 3 (5 1/4 to 6 lb. total), and clean and crack them. Marinate pieces (step 1), then lift out and add to hot oil (step 3), cover, and stir often for 5 minutes. Add marinade and 1 1/2 tablespoons pepper to pan and stir often until crab shells are bright red, about 5 minutes more.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 403
  • Calories from fat: 29%
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrate: 46g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 3453mg
  • Cholesterol: 129mg

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Black Pepper Dungeness Crab Recipe