Our very best recipes with the seasonal seafood for an indulgent winter feast
Peden & Munk
Big, bold Southeast Asian flavors team up in a perfect balance of salty, sweet, hot, and aromatic.
If you have shells from a cracked-crab feast, make this delicious bisque the following day. “Slow and low is the only trick to cooking it,” Jordan Davis of Herringbone Restuarants says. Top with leftover shelled cooked crab, if you have some—it’s not absolutely necessary.
Recipe: Crab Bisque
Dungeness is always on the menu at chef Joshua Delgado's Alderbrook, set right on Washington’s Hood Canal. These outstanding Benedicts skip the customary English muffin to showcase just crisp crabcake, egg, and hollandaise.
Recipe: Crabcake Eggs Benedict
Despite being quite a distance from an ocean, chef-owner Cullen Campbell, of Crudo in Phoenix, serves impeccable seafood. He simmers these plump gnocchi, but the mixture is also excellent pan-fried as crabcakes.
Recipe: Crab and Spinach Gnocchi
SoCal-based Jordan Davis, of Herringbone Restaurants, grew up in San Francisco, devouring Dungeness every Christmas Eve. Although you can buy and serve precooked crab, the cooking process isn’t difficult, and the resulting flavor, texture, and freshness can’t be beat. (For how to cook, clean, and crack crab, go to sunset.com/crabvideo.) Use leftover meat and shells for bisque.
The ocean flavor of Dungeness meets earthy hominy in this twist on the Mexican soup called posole. “Dungeness crabmeat has a natural orange-red hue from the shell that makes the salad look vibrant,” says chef Aniedra Nichols of Elway's Cherry Creek in Denver. You could also use shrimp, scallops, or fat flakes of Pacific cod.
Recipe: Crab Posole Salad
Packed with fresh crab, these indulgent appetizers are a step up from the rangoons (deep-fried dumplings) often sold at Chinese restaurants. They can be made ahead and frozen, then cooked when guests arrive. Set out several dipping sauces, as everyone seems to have a favorite.
Recipe: Crab Rangoons
Just a few deftly chosen ingredients make for an elegant, complex-tasting salad. Serve it with warm rolls and glasses of cold, crisp white wine (our wine editor suggests Grenache Blanc).
Recipe: Crab and Tangerine Salad
Alex Farnum; Styling: Randy Mon
We swear this is the last crabcake recipe you’ll ever need. We especially love the way the crab is bound with a creamy scallop purée rather than bread crumbs.
Recipe: Ultimate Crabcakes
Sweet crab tacos topped with a fresh salsa and a mixture of onions and jalapeños are delicious served with cold beer.
Recipe: Crab Tacos
Thomas J. Story
Yuzu, a kind of Japanese citrus, has an ultra-aromatic, floral flavor that makes it a knockout with seafood and mango. A soy-ginger mayo and a sprinkle of minced kaffir lime leaves add more layers of complexity.
If you're lucky enough to have leftover crab, there's no better use for it than this. Rich and creamy, bright with lemon, this classic brunch dish also makes a great supper when paired with a simple green salad.
Recipe: Crab Eggs Benedict
Sweet crab seems even sweeter when it swims up against the big flavors here: garlic, ginger, and hot red chiles.
Leo Gong; Charles Gullung
Serve this lively soup, a fine showcase for Dungeness crab, to brighten up a winter day.
Recipe: Carrot Soup with Dungeness Crab
We dress up light crab salad with avocado and parsley, then serve the salad in lettuce cups to make it finger-friendly.
Recipe: Crab Salad Cups
Crab and corn are a classic chowder combination, but we've used hominy instead of corn, providing this flavorful soup a satisfying bite; avocado and cilantro toppings give the dish a Southwest vibe. Ready in 30 minutes!
Recipe: Crab and Hominy Chowder
This super-simple sauce was inspired by the tarragon tang and beautiful color of green goddess dressing. It's rich yet has a bit of a bite, and highlights the briny sweetness of crab.