How To Cook Crab Legs
How To Cook Crab Legs
The basic method for how to cook crab legs is to place them in boiling water and wait a few minutes. While crab legs can certainly be undercooked, or overcooked, which is a bit harder to do, one doesn't have to hover over the pot and remove the crab legs from the heat at just the precise moment for the best results. Crab legs are somewhat forgiving when it comes to cooking time, which usually takes no more than about 5 minutes if boiled.
Another nice thing about crab legs is that once cooked, one really doesn't have to do much else. They can be eaten while still warm, although many like them when they've been cooked and then a bit chilled. Crab legs are flavorful and delicious and don't need a lot extra although a little lemon juice, melted butter, or both will add to the taste.
Most recipes or instructions on how to cook crab legs are with reference to either King crab legs or snow crab legs, since when you shop for crab legs and not the entire crab, what you get is either King crab or snow crab. When you purchase Dungeness crab, the favorite crab of quite a few, you usually get the whole crab. The legs are quite a bit smaller than those of the King Crab, but there's good meat to be found in the body of the Dungeness crab.
Many Ways To Cook - When you look online for recipes or instructions for how to cook crab legs, they all say about the same thing, although besides boiling the legs, they can be baked, steamed, cooked in the microwave, and even grilled. It's worth noting that the cooking time can vary somewhat, depending upon whether the crab legs are fresh or have been cooked and flash frozen. Most of the King crabs and snow crabs are cooked right on the crab boats and then frozen, which is the way they are usually purchased. They still need to be heated up, but for no longer than around 5 minutes. Crab that hasn't been cooked can take up to twice that long. If you plan on grilling crab legs, four minutes on a hot grill will usually suffice.
Cioppino - One of the finest ways to enjoy crab legs is in a bowl of cioppino, a type of bouillabaisse. For this treat you'll want fresh crab legs, although precooked and frozen crab legs won't adversely affect the final result. Much more than crab legs are required. You'll want chunks of white fish fillet, clams and/or mussels still in the shell, shelled shrimp but with the tails intact (for something to hold on to), and for that matter most any saltwater sea food. The crab legs are added in chunks, and can either be in the shell or not. The mix is placed in a cooking pot together with whole canned tomatoes, the juice, and tomato paste, to which is added minced garlic, olive oil, chili pepper flakes, red-wine vinegar as well as red wine (Cabernet is good, as is Chianti). As far as how much of each ingredient you want, its best to look among the different recipes for cioppino, and there are many. Pick one that seems appealing.
Crab Cakes - A much simpler crab leg dish to prepare, but a sure fire hit with lots of people, is crab cakes. One can either use the meat from crab legs or from a whole crab. It really doesn't matter much. The ingredients here are typically crab meat (minced), mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, diced onion, bread crumbs and crab seasoning. Crab cakes are normally prepared by frying in a skillet.
When all is said and done, boiled crab legs dipped in a mixture of melted butter and lemon juice is really hard to beat. Adding a pinch of garlic powder won't hurt either.