Cooking with Phil: Dungeness Crab Roast

My neighbor, Phil and I have lengthy conversations about food and travel and share the same love for a piece of bread smeared with garlic, spanish boquerones, EVOO, no need for words, instant friends! One rainy morning he invited me over for a crab roast lunch, claiming it was my kind of thing and I would love it. He was right.

Having spent a lot of time in northern California he came across this recipe in the SF Chronicle many years ago, it was an instant keeper. A few ingredients but just the right amount of each and we were sopping up all the juices with a toasty baguette. It was really good, thanks Phil!

Dungeness Crab Roast via SF Chronicle (serves 2)

2 live Dungeness crabs (2 pounds each)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. When buying fresh crab get your local fish monger to cut and clean the crab for you. Once home, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the crabs, submerging them completely and cook covered for 15 minutes.

3. In a seperate bowl combine the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, thyme, crushed fennel seeds, salt, red pepper flakes and melted butter.

4. Remove crabs from pot and place in a roasting pan. Pour all of the olive oil mixture on top of the crab, mix, making sure the crab pieces are well coated, put in oven and roast for 15  minutes. Crabs are done when hot all way through and crab shells are shiny.

5. Plate the crab and pour pan juices on top. Serve with a crusty baguette, sop up all the juices with bread.


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