Dungeness crab season goes from April to July. You can catch crab any time of the year, but if, like me, you only go after crab when they are spawning in shallow waters, then crab season is April to July.
Waiting for the crabs to move to shallow waters means crabbing involves wading in shallow waters looking to scoop up any legal-sized crab. It’s a lot more enjoyable when compared to periodically checking traps dropped in deep water.
Crab season may last up to 4 months, but, most of the time, you’re not going to find more than a couple of legal-size crabs.
This past weekend was not most of the time. After 2 days of catching my limit, throwing back tons of otherwise legal crab, I found myself with a lot of crab that needed to be eaten soon. Time to make something special.
Dungeness Crab Linguine
Just saying it makes my mouth water, mmm Dungeness crab linguine. I don’t measure when I cook so all quantities are rough estimates
- 2 Dungeness Crabs
- 1 tsp Fennel Seed
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 pinch Ground Chili Pepper (or anything else that adds a tiny bit of heat)
- 1 small bunch of Chive (or shalott or onion)
- 1 tsp Fresh Thyme
- 3 cloves Garlic (or more if you’re like me)
- Olive Oil
- 375 mg Linguine
- Crush or grind fennel seed.
- Pre-heat olive oil and add fennel seed.
- After about a minute, add crab meat, salt, paprika, chili pepper and enough oil to lightly coat all of the ingredients.
- Just before the pasta is ready, add thyme, chive and garlic. Cook until you start to smell the garlic (30 sec to 1 min) and remove from heat.
- Serve over pasta.
Beer Pairing Recommendations
Dungeness crab goes well with herbs and citrus fruit so British and American IPA are both on the menu.
Wheat beers go with pretty much any food, but anise that sometimes gets added to Belgian Wit beers will get you bonus points with the licorice-flavoured fennel seed.
Strong Belgian Amber beers will also do a nice job balancing all the strong flavours in the recipe. The extra sweetness in a strong beer is a nice counterpoint to a recipe that otherwise lacks sugar.
On this particular day, I had a home-brewed ESB. The ESB was less hoppy than typical American ESBs, but was more caramelised than British ESBs. It was quite nice, if not sublime. The caramelisation wasn’t ideal, but the malt sweetness and hop aroma and bitterness blended nicely.
Photo Credit: Will Scullin