This is the classic recipe for which Old Bay Seasoning was created. At the time of the creation of Old Bay Seasoning crabs we’re so abundant in the Chesapeake Bay that they were served in bars and given away for free. The saltiness of this crab seasoning mix helped bartenders to sell more beer. The seasoning doesn’t actually get into the crabs, but instead stays on the shell and seasons the crab meat indirectly by hand contact while eating the crabs. So a variation of this recipe is to add the seasoning as the crabs are removed from the pot and are still wet (remember a little goes a long way).
|Maryland Steamed Crabs|
For each dozen crabs use:
2 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
3 tablespoon salt
water and vinegar
Use a large pot, such as a canner, with a raised rack in the bottom at least 2 inches above bottom of the pot (a round barbecue grill sitting on bricks or stones works well). Fill pot with equal quantities of vinegar and water to just below the level of the rack. Add craps to pot in layers, sprinkling each layer of live crabs*** with the mixture of Old Bay Seasoning and salt. Cover and steam until crabs or red, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve crabs immediately. Because seafood spoils quickly, keep crabs warm in steamer or promptly refrigerate.
Serve steamed crab on a table covered with paper for easy cleanup and with plenty of cold beer. Melted butter seasoned with a little Old Bay Seasoning is often served on the side. Have plenty of paper towels handy.
***When adding crabs to pot, make sure the crab is alive. Crabs spoil quickly and any dead crabs should be discarded.