Bayou-licious Crabs!

blue crab
Oh, honey, you might never eat a boiled crab again after you sample these finger-licking-good delicacies that come from the brackish waters down the bayou.  (Of course, any blue crab will work just as well.)

Bayou-licious Crabs!
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 9 Medium Blue Crabs
  • 1 Stick of Butter - The Real Thing
  • 1 Onion - Medium to Large, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • Cracked Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the biggest wok you can find on your outdoor grill burner, preferably one where you can keep the heat at a medium level. Or you could do this indoors on the stove.
  2. Add one stick of butter, and as it begins to melt, add the chopped onion.
  3. While stirring, add the Oyster Sauce, and then add the sugar.
  4. Once the butter has melted and the onions are translucent, add the whole crabs to the wok.
  5. Then crack black pepper over the top of them.
  6. Using a big utensil like a wok shovel or wire skimmer, move the crabs around the wok so that every side and claw is exposed to the heat.
  7. Continue scooping the onion-butter sauce over the crabs.
  8. If the onions start to brown too quickly, turn the heat down a little, to keep them from burning. The onions will caramelize and eventually stick to the crabs, creating the finger-licking goodness.
  9. Dump the crabs and sauce into a big serving pan or platter, making sure to scrape all the sauce and caramelized onions into the pan.
  10. Use French Bread to sop up the remaining sauce and onions from bottom of the serving pan.

 

Bayou-licious crabs - onion and butter

Place the biggest wok you can find on your outdoor burner, preferably one where you can keep the heat at a medium level.  (I guess you could do this indoors on the stove, but we love cooking outside in this temperate weather!)

Add one stick of butter, and as it begins to melt, add the chopped onion.  While stirring, add the Oyster Sauce, and then add the sugar.  Once that butter has melted and the onions are translucent, add the whole crabs to the wok.  Then crack black pepper over the top of them.

Add the crabs

Using a big utensil like a wok shovel or wire skimmer, move the crabs around the wok so that every side and claw is exposed to the heat.  Make sure and continue to scoop up some of the onion-butter sauce with them.  The onions will caramelize and eventually stick to the crabs, creating the finger-licking goodness.

Cooking the crabs

At this point, if the onions start to brown too quickly, turn the heat down a little, as we don’t want to burn them.

Bayou-licious crabs ready to eat

When the crabs are done, there should be no sign of blue anywhere on them, including the claws.

The cooking process takes about 15 minutes.  Dump the crabs and sauce into a big serving pan or platter, making sure to scrape all the sauce and caramelized onions into the pan.  We used French Bread to sop up the remaining sauce and onions from bottom of serving pan.

Toss every table manner your mamma ever taught you right out the window and enjoy, because there is no neat and clean way to eat these crabs.  Your fingers and face will most likely be shamefully slathered in buttery caramelized goodness, but the flavor is so divine, nobody cares!

I apologize for photo quality.  When my friend J.G. invited me over for what she called “Brewster Key Crabs”, I was so tired from the day’s work that I forgot to bring my real camera.  These are taken with an I-phone, and I’m just not that steady-handed, but I think you get the idea.

 Here’s the back story:  The name Brewster Key Crabs comes from the name of the street on which J. G.’s niece lives.  Her niece ate these crabs at an Asian restaurant years ago, and when the recipe showed up in a cooking magazine, she snatched it up and has been preparing these at her place down in Galveston ever since.  Since she was down the bayou for a visit, it was high time some local blue crab were put to the recipe test.  And wow, did they pass!  She generously shared the recipe with us, and I can honestly tell you, these crabs are so delicious that I might not ever settle for a plain boiled crab again.

Well, I’m off to shop online for the biggest wok I can find.  If you only have a smaller, stove-top version, you can crack the crabs in half and do two batches, which is what we had to do and it worked just fine.

Feeling crabby,

BW

*To clean the crabs for this recipe, scrub the whole crab clean with a little brush, especially the claws. Then, remove the shell and dispose.  Lastly remove the private parts, filters and other junk you don’t eat on a boiled crab.  Place cleaned crabs in a pan to await the wok.

You can add it to Pinterest.


Comments

Bayou-licious Crabs! — 23 Comments

      • Yes, you know it! That is a common Thai dish. They add chopped ginger, garlic, and red Thai chiles.

        • I talked to her about making it more “bayou” by adding Cayenne, but she said (and I agree) that it would change the taste too much. These are not supposed to be spicy–are ever-so-slightly sweet with the sweet onion and caramelization, and it goes so good with the sweetness of the crab. I’m sure the Thai version is lip-smacking good, too!

    • “hope you didn’t like that one, lol”!! LOL is right! It’s almost totally healed with just one little scab left. Thanks for asking!!! These crabs really were that delicious.

  1. That looks amazing! I used the last of my frozen crab meat from when we were there last summer a few weeks ago. Must be time for a road trip!

  2. These sound really good! I’ve got a good sized wok, just need the crabs. Hey, I wonder how shrimp would do? Maybe they would turn out tasting a little like BBQ Shrimp.

  3. Ok lets see if blu can eat crab, we already know he’d starve on crawfish. Time to line up the November trip, y’all.

    Wow 2 wok blog reads in 24 hours. ‘kayotic kitchen’ did wok too even if toxic teflon.

  4. You had me when I saw the blue crab. Look at that happy face on that crab, you just know he’s going to be good to eat.

    Passed this along to a Lafayette friend who introduced me to grilled blue crabs (BBQ pit) with garlic butter.

    He said thank you, he was headed out looking for crabs! LOL

    • Really? I sure hope he likes it. Maybe he’ll invite you over for a sample? I have to get a big wok before I can do this for my family, but it’s on the to-do list.

      • If you can’t find a lrg. Wok, what about using a stainless salad “bowl”. Just about any kitchen store (or Rest. Supply) have HUGE bowls. A pair of vice grips would make a great handle, too! You’ve probably got those in your toolbox.

  5. These look wonderful! I used to have a wok – suddenly I can’t remember where it is or what happened to it. I never used it, so I may have gotten rid of it. No telling.

    If your weather is anything like ours, you’re having a fine time and doing a lot of outdoor cooking. It’s just 74 right now, and in short order I’m heading out to work while it’s still lovely. Only 85 today, I think. Pretty soon we’ll have what passes for fall around here!

  6. Girl, dang those crab look mighty fine. I see nothing but good eats.
    Its one of things you need to be careful with, don’t get any on your forehead. Your tongue might beat your brains out trying to get to it. Gonna copy that one. Bill

  7. So, I didn’t take the time to read through all the comments, but do you clean the crabs while they are alive??

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