Steaming blue crabs, especially if you caught them yourself, conjurs up images of a tasty feast ! Any big pot will do as long as you have something to put in the bottom that raises the crabs out of the water while steaming.
Wash your crabs off with running water before you steam them. Not much rinsing is required, and it gives you a chance to go through and remove any dead crabs. Dead crabs should NOT be eaten. Deterioration takes place and bacteria multiplies rapidly in dead shellfish. Heigene is very important so remember not to mix plates, gloves, or anything else that has touched the live crabs with the cooked crabs. Salmonella and other bacterial agents transport easily.
For each dozen of blue crabs, use one cup of water and one cup of vinegar, which should be put in the container first.
Use tongs, or a gloved hand to place the crabs on an elevated platform in the container after the liquid is boiling. Then generously sprinkle seasoning over each layer of crabs. Steam about twenty to thirty minutes and eat them while they are hot ! The seasoning may be purchased at the grocery store or fish market or you can make your own. About five ounces of dried mixture is sprinkled in layers, on each dozen crabs in the pot.
The following ingredients makes two pounds of seasoning for about six dozen crabs. Mix well and store in an airtight jar until ready for use.
- 1 lb. coarse salt (small rock salt)
- 5 oz. crushed red pepper
- 3 oz. dried mustard
- 1 1/2 oz. ginger
- 1 oz. black pepper
- 1 oz. celery flakes
- 1 oz. onion flakes
- 1/2 oz. celery seeds
- 1/2 oz. crushed bay leaves
- 1/2 oz. laurel leaves
- 1/2 oz. cinnamon
- 1/2 oz. paprika
- 1/2 oz. thyme
- 1/2 oz. mace
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