It’s crab season and have I got the dish for you, Sriracha Butter Crab Legs. These are so very good and they are easy to make which makes them taste even better. I used king crab legs, but any crab will work. You can try Alaskan crab legs, blue crab, or dungeness crab. For the whole crabs, you will need to break them down so that the meat is exposed when baking.
Preparing the crab
So here is what I did. I started with frozen crab which can be very salty so I rinsed the crab thoroughly and then laid them on paper towels to dry. My crab was pre-cut to make them easier to eat. I continued cutting along the pre-cut lines to expose the crab meat. Your kitchen sheers may be handier than a knife. If you use a knife, may sure that it is sharp so you don’t have to work as hard to make the cuts.
Once the crab is dry, I placed it in a baking dish shell side down. I then zested a lemon over the crab. This should be done to your taste. I used about half of the lemon for the zest, but feel free to use the whole lemon if you really love citrus with crab.
The flavor for this dish comes from the delicious butter that you add before baking. Heat a stick of unsalted butter on low and add one tablespoon of Sriracha. I am in love with the Texas Pete Sriracha. Shout out to my sister Leslie for putting me on to it. I put that …you know the rest! Give that a good stir before adding 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic. You can use fresh garlic if you prefer. I threw in a bit of Aleppo pepper because that’s how I roll. Finish the butter with a teaspoon of chopped parsley.
Spoon the butter over the crab. Top with fresh ground black pepper and roast on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Next up is making the crab sauce. I worked in a very popular seafood restaurant while in college. Some guests would ask for a few extra condiments from the kitchen to make seafood sauce. It was a mayonnaise based sauce with ketchup, lemon, and a little bit of sugar. Growing up in Louisiana, we always had tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, or remoulade with seafood so you know that I was intrigued by this combination!
My version has mayo, ketchup, lemon, and sugar but I also add a bit of Sriracha to marry the flavors that I put into the crab. Just stir it all together and taste.
salt or lack thereof
You will notice that the one missing ingredient here is salt. Frozen crab has a tendency to be very salty. I don’t add any salt to this dish. I highly suggest that you leave it out too, but it you must then wait until the very end after tasting the cooked crab with the seafood sauce.
This is really a dig in with a fork and a few napkins kind of dish. I like to spread the crab out on a platter, add the seafood sauce to a ramekin, and garnish with a few lemons. That’s it. Beautiful sweet crab getting some heat from the spicy butter, tang from the lemon zest, and cooling creaminess from the sauce. Just about perfect!
Please let us know how you like our Sriracha butter crab legs. Also, for more seafood recipes, ideas, and quick tips click here!