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Steamed Maryland Crabs

prep:10 minutes
cook:20 minutes to 30 minutes
ready in:30 minutes to 40 minutes
Show nutritional information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 261
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0g
  • Protein: 51g

Back when I used to live in Washington, D.C., my friends and I would often go to the Maine Street Wharf and get a bushel of steamed Maryland crabs. Evenings spent enjoying blue crabs are quite memorable. This dish takes me back to those warm summer evenings spent with great friends in D.C.

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Serves: 4

Serves: 4decrease servingsincrease servings



Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. In a large bowl, combine water, vinegar, and seasonings.
  2. Place a steamer basket in a large pot.
  3. Place 6 live crabs on top of the steamer basket.
  4. Pour approximately half of the seasoning mixture from the bowl over the crabs.
  5. Add the remaining crabs, and top with the remaining seasoning mixture.
  6. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and place a heavy object on the lid to prevent any crabs from escaping.
  7. Steam crabs for 20–30 minutes, until crabs are bright red.
  8. Serve.
  9. Serve with grilled asparagus and garlic butter.


When ordering crabs, it is typically best to get the largest ones your fish monger has. These are typically referred to as “Number Ones” or “Number One Jimmies.”

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