The peak harvest for fresh Oregon Dungeness crabs runs from December through April, and that means right now, is a great time to plan a special holiday meal around the flavorful crustacean.
Oregon Dungeness crab is versatile and easy to prepare at home, or when staying at the coast in a spacious, Tolovana Inn suite in Cannon Beach.
Dungeness crab can be purchased at specialty seafood markets and supermarkets throughout the region with retail prices typically lowest during the winter when the harvest is in full swing.
The simplest method of preparing Dungeness crab is placing live crab in boiling salted water and cooking for 18-20 minutes–after the water returns to a boil—and the shell turns bright orange. Immerse the crabs in cold water to cool before cleaning. Fresh cooked crab can be served chilled or heated in a steamer, broiler or oven for 4 to 5 minutes.
Crab can be simply served with melted butter. Add a crisp Oregon Riesling and warm garlic bread, and a wonderful, local dinner is ready to enjoy. For more elegant fare, crab meat can be served cocktail style as a tasty appetizer or featured as a hot entrée in crab cakes, pastas, seafood soups and casseroles.
Besides enjoying the tender, sweet flavor of fresh Dungeness crab, you can feel good about the selection since Seafood Watch has given the crab a sustainable seafood rating of ‘Best Choice’ Selection.
For more information about Oregon’s state crustacean (as proclaimed by the Oregon legislature in 2009) visit the Oregon Dungeness Crab commission web site.
Cheers for the Oregon coast and the winter Dungeness crab season!