Did you know that we take Dungeness crab very seriously here in Newport? In fact, we're so proud of our love for these delectable crustaceans that we've even trademarked the phrase the "Dungeness Crab Capital of the World!"
With the largest commercial fishing fleet on the Oregon Coast, the Port of Newport has been reaping bountiful harvests of this cherished culinary delight for years. The abundance of locally caught crab means that residents and visitors alike can indulge in purchasing fresh crab straight from the docks, local fish markets, and grocery stores.
If you're up for the adventure, you can even try your hand at crabbing by boat in the bay or ocean, or you can gather them right from the docks of Yaquina Bay in South Beach and the Historic Bayfront.
It's essential to enjoy the bounties of Newport's coastal waters responsibly by adhering to Oregon's fishing and crab harvesting regulations. These laws are in place to ensure the sustainability of marine life and protect the delicate balance of the ocean ecosystem. Before crabbing, please familiarize yourself with laws about fishing licenses, size and quantity limits, as well as other important regulations.
While there are numerous ways to savor crab, the first step is to master the art of cooking and preparing it. Here are two popular methods to choose from:
Boiling: If you opt to buy crab, many places will take care of the boiling and cleaning for you. Alternatively, you can also find pre-shelled crab meat. For those who catch their own crab or purchase it uncooked, the process begins by boiling it in salt water for about 7-8 minutes per pound in a spacious pot. Enhance the flavor by adding spices such as bay leaves, peppercorns, chopped carrots, and celery. Once the crab turns a vibrant orange color, allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes, or speed up the process by immersing it in an ice bath to halt further cooking.
Steaming: Steaming is another delightful way to cook crab. Place about an inch of water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Put the crab in a steaming basket, cover the pot, and steam for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the crab. Steaming preserves the natural sweetness of crab meat and is a preferred method for those who want to enjoy its delicate flavor.
After cooking, cleaning the crab becomes a simpler task. Begin by placing the crab belly side up and removing the triangular apron shape beneath it. Turn the crab over, hold down one side of the legs, and gently detach the top shell. Eliminate the spongy gills and small paddle at the front, then rinse under water to eliminate any remaining dark insides or debris, being cautious not to wash away the precious meat. Finally, break the crab in half, extract the meat from the shell, and delicately crack open the legs using a cracker and a thin pick.
With your crab prepared, it's time to feast! A straightforward and delightful option is dipping the meat in melted butter and savoring it on its own or alongside freshly baked bread or crackers. You can also craft flavorful crab salads like the classic Crab Louie or assemble open-faced crab and Swiss cheese melts on sourdough bread.
For those craving more culinary creativity, a plethora of print and online recipes offer guidance on crafting crab cakes, dips, soups, and a medley of mouthwatering crab-infused dishes. Regardless of your chosen preparation, one thing is certain: indulging in the freshness of Dungeness crab promises an unforgettable dining experience!