Some folks claim to love seafood, and yet, they don’t usually venture past shrimp, finfish, and the occasional raw or fried oysters.
That’s a real shame, because Blue Crab is one of the true prizes of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. It’s harvested all year round, but because they migrate to deeper waters during cold weather, the spring and summer are the perfect times to enjoy crabmeat—especially late spring and early summer when it’s soft-shell season.
There are lots of terrific recipes that include crabmeat as a feature, whether it’s stuffed into shrimp, sprinkled over a fish filet, or mixed into a stew. But we think Blue Crab is delicious enough to stand on its own. As an added bonus, most of these recipes are pretty easy, too.
Here are seven recipes where Blue Crab is the star of the show. (And if you want to crack your own, our helpful how-to guide is a great resource.)
BBQ Crab Claws
If you can find fresh Alabama crab claws, you’re in for a real treat—and you’ll only need a few ingredients to amplify the flavor. Chef Jack Baker’s recipe for BBQ Crab Claws (a name that already includes double appeal for Alabamians) make for a terrific appetizer or afternoon snack if you’ve got a few mouths to feed.
Compleat West Indies Salad
There might not be another dish as authentically “South Alabama” as this one. West Indies Salad was invented by Bill Bayley and first served at Bayley’s Restaurant in Mobile. Chef Steve Zucker’s fresh spin on a classic isn’t just a delicious appetizer (or even a full meal), it’s a healthy choice for those trying to eat better.
Cha Cha’s Crab Dip
Here’s another delightful crab dish that features a short list of ingredients. Fresh Blue Crab pairs perfectly with two cheeses, chopped bacon and green onions, and a helping of sweet chili sauce for a dip that’s perfect for pleasing a crowd. We don’t know Cha Cha personally, but we’ll tip our hats to Wolf Bay Lodge for this one.
Crabby Stuffed Avocados
Crabmeat is both healthy and delicious. So are avocados. As it turns out, when you combine them, magical things happen for your taste buds. Once your avocados are good and ripe, stuff ‘em with this crab salad for a refreshing dish that works as a snack or a meal. (We’d recommend serving with The Oyster Bed, of course!)
Crab Cakes with Green Tomato Slaw
Crab cakes are just about the perfect food, if you ask us. Crunchy but soft, simple but flavorful, and of course, it’s mostly made out of crabmeat. Chef Mark Driskill’s recipe also pairs these Gulf Coast delicacies with a fresh, healthy green tomato slaw that’s a terrific Southern sidepiece when you’re serving these up to family and friends.
Fried Soft-Shell Crabs with Rémoulade Sauce
Soft-shell season is upon us, so we couldn’t do a Blue Crab recipe list without including this one. Perhaps one of the most unique Alabama Gulf Seafood dishes, these fried soft-shell crabs are just a matter of battering and frying, but you definitely don’t want to skip the rémoulade. Fried soft-shells are perfect for dipping, after all.
Grilled Gulf Lump Crab Cake
For a different spin on a Gulf Coast crab cake, look no further than this recipe from Chefs Greg & Lindsey Kilgore. This dish is full of flavor, including Old Bay seasoning and the hot sauce and aioli of your choice (or mayo if you prefer). All you have to do is combine the ingredients, pack them loosely, then cook and flip. Voila!