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Classic Crab Boil

Dig in to Dungeness crab boiled in a special mix of spices. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep:10 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 servings


  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 whole live Dungeness crabs (2 pounds each)
  • Melted butter and lemon wedges


  • Place first 7 ingredients on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather corners of cloth to enclose seasonings; tie securely with string.
  • In a large stockpot, bring water, salt, lemon juice, cayenne and spice bag to a boil. Using tongs, add crab to stockpot; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until shells turn bright red, about 15 minutes.
  • Using tongs, remove crab from pot. Run under cold water or plunge into ice water. Serve with melted butter and lemon wedges.
Nutrition Facts
1 crab: 245 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 169mg cholesterol, 956mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 50g protein.

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