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Cracked Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil

Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

Big, bold Southeast Asian flavors team up in a perfect balance of salty, sweet, hot, and aromatic.

su – Cracked Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil

Photo: Peden & Munk; Styling: Amy Wilson


 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, ends trimmed and coarse leaves discarded
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
 1/4 cup honey
 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
 3 fully cooked Dungeness crabs (about 2 lbs. each), cleaned, legs cracked, and bodies quartered
 3 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
 1 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs
 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves or small regular basil leaves
Step 1

Chop lemongrass. Put in a food processor with ginger and garlic; whirl until minced. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in honey, soy sauce, and pepper. Add crabs and stir to coat well. Cover, then chill at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Step 2

Pour oil into a 14-in. wok or a wide 8- to 10-qt. pot over medium-high heat. With a slotted spoon, add crabs (reserve marinade). Cover and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes (omit this cooking time if using fully cooked crabs).

Step 3

Uncover pan, add marinade, and cook, stirring often, until crabs are steaming and meat is opaque, about 5 minutes.

Step 4

Stir in cilantro and basil, then transfer crabs and juices to a serving bowl.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 351Calories from Fat 35
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g20%

Saturated Fat 2.1g11%
Cholesterol 163mg55%
Sodium 1060mg45%
Total Carbohydrate 23g8%

Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Protein 35g70%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.