Simple Boiled Crabs with Garlic-Vermouth Butter

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst

Yield: Makes 2 servings
Recipe from Coastal Living

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Recipe Time

Cook Time:
Prep Time:
Chill: 30 Minutes


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil, parsley, or chives
  • 1 tablespoon vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup seafood seasoning
  • 2 live Dungeness crabs or 6 live blue crabs


  1. 1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until butter melts. Keep warm.
  2. 2. Combine 6 quarts water, vinegar, and next 3 ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. 3. While water is heating, set crabs on a rimmed baking sheet or tray, and put in freezer. (This makes handling the crabs easier--they should be well chilled but not frozen; don't leave them in freezer more than 30 minutes.) When water has come to a rolling boil, grab each crab securely at the back of its shell, and gently but swiftly drop it headfirst into the boiling water.
  4. 4. Cover pot, and return water to a boil. Cook Dungeness crabs 18 to 20 minutes and blue crabs 5 minutes. Drain, clean, and serve with warm butter sauce.
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