Steaming crab legs is one of the best methods of preparing crab legs, as crab legs that we get are often precooked and then frozen. Now let’s learn how to steam crab legs.
Many people will not believe, if I tell them, that steaming crab legs is simple and as a matter of fact, it can be cooked within a few minutes. The meat in crab legs is white in color, whereas the meat in the shell is rich and brown in color. Crab leg meat is extremely flavorsome, tender and succulent once it is cooked. In Europe, spider crab meat is very popular, due to its sweet flavored succulent meat, while on the other hand in the US and Canada, Alaskan king crab is popular for the length of their legs and the amount of meat contained in them.
Crab legs are normally cooked on board the fishing boats as soon as they are caught and then flash frozen immediately. This process of freezing the crab legs, ensure that people are able to savor fresh and flavorsome meat. Before you start the process of steaming, it is necessary to defrost crab legs. To defrost crab legs, you will have to place them in the refrigerator for approximately 8 hours.
How to Steam Crab Legs
There are a number of ways, you can steam crab legs. You can steam crab legs in the steamer, in the oven or also without the steamer. We will first see, how to make steamed crab legs at home.
- Water 2 cups
- Salt 1 tablespoon
- Melted Butter/Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon Wedges
- Use salty cold water to thaw the frozen crab legs by placing them in the refrigerator for eight hours.
- Once you have thawed the crab legs, pour two cups of water in the steam and bring it to a boil.
- Till the water is boiling, place the crab legs in the steamer basket.
- Once the water starts to boil, place the steamer basket in the steamer and set the steamer timings to 7 minutes.
- The first sign to understand, that the crab legs are ready, is the aroma that is emitted.
- Touch the crab legs to check, if the crab legs are warmed sufficiently. If the legs are hot to touch, understand that the crabs are ready to be served.
- Remove the crab legs from the steamer and serve them with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil and lemon wedges.
Without a Steamer
- Take a medium large pot, so that a colander will fit over it.
- Fill the pot with water. The water level should be approximately one third of the pot’s capacity.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- While the water is boiling, place the frozen crab legs in the colander.
- Once the water begins to boil, place the colander into the pot and cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the crabs steam for approximately 10 minutes. Touch the crab legs and check if the crab legs are cooked.
In the Oven
- The first step is to place the crab legs on a rack over a watertight pan, cover it with a plastic wrap in a refrigerator overnight, so that the crab legs thaw completely.
- Put water in a pan and place it on the rack.
- Preheat the oven, so that the water starts boiling.
- Place the crab legs in the pan and cover the pan with a wet towel. Turn the oven to bake mode.
- Let the crabs steam, but make sure, that the towel does not dry up. The crab legs will take about 15 minutes to steam.
After you have steamed the crab legs, you can season them, with the seasoning of your choice. If you are going to use melted butter, you can add minced garlic to the butter for the extra flavor.