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Steamed Blue Crabs With Homemade Bay Seasoning

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 finely ground bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 24 live blue crabs, rinsed well in several changes of fresh cold water
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Hot crusty French bread
  • Hot boiled Corn on the Cobs


  • For the bay seasoning: In a large bowl, combine chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, oregano, salt, sugar, dry mustard, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, and coriander seed and set aside.
  • For the Crabs: Inside a large pot, place an expandable steamer basket on the bottom. Add the beer, vinegar, and enough water to come up to the bottom of the basket. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Carefully transfer the crabs with tongs to the basket, spritz with fresh lemon juice, and toss in the lemons. Sprinkle bay seasoning, to taste, over each layer of crabs (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup).
  • Cover the pot tightly and steam until the crabs are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. (To check doneness, remove a crab leg, break open, and taste.)
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper sauce. Remove from the heat, adjust seasoning to taste, and serve as a dipping sauce for the crabs, bread, and corn.