Roasted Crab

Roasted Crab
Crustacean and Than Long, both located in San Francisco, California is really famous for their crab and garlic noodles. We have eaten here 3-4  times from the last 15 years and never came back after around 2009-2010, I think. My niece would always cook it once or twice a year since she has copied the recipe and from then on, we have never seen it. At the same time, never again I would spend or pay for about $50 per person now just to get crab and noodles especially I also kind of copied the recipe, a little modified though. It may not be exactly like Chef Mama An’s(founder and owner) recipe but I think it is close enough for us to enjoy (wink, wink). I just think that as long as you got fresh ones, you can never go wrong with enjoying them because that is really a big factor. For me, Crab like any other seafoods, already has it’s own distinctive flavor. No need for too much seasoning. As long as you cook them right, perfect timing, perfect seasoning, that’s all you need, and cook the way you want them to whether Vietnamese, Mexican or Filipino style. Do whatever makes you happy. ;p…Just make sure you got the skills in cracking the shell, peeling and pulling the meat out of it up to the last and smallest piece to enjoy them.
fresh live crabs
fresh boiled crab
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking Time: 75-90 minutes

Servings: 3-4


  • 2 pcs of dungeoness crab(1 pc weighs around 1.5-2 lbs)
  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter/2 tablespoons
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4-6 pcs of garlic cloves(crushed and chopped)
  • 2 tsps ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  •  8 pcs of fresh thai basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cup crab fat paste
  • 1 tsp pink salt

freshly baked crabs

freshly-baked crabshell(also called as carapace)

freshly-baked crabshell(also called as carapace)


–  Rinse, scrub n wash crab using either a clean spare toothbrush or vegetable brush. Make sure to scrub those between the legs.

– Boil  2-3 cups of water for 10 minutes. Put the basil leaves and crab in the pot and cover then boil for another 10 minutes each side. Once cooked, drain (make sure to save the crab broth and let it cool for a little bit. You will use some to add to the sauce) 

– Once crab has cooled down, take out the shell(called the carapace) first. (Watch out for the juice and some fat from inside crab, pour into small bowl n save for later). Set aside. Take out the lungs off. It is the white one that looks like a cone and it is spongy. Then take out the mouth part(called mandibles). It is the part by the mouth area and the surrounding parts next to it. Crack them and take them off. Toss. Chop the crab into 2 pieces.

  • Heat up oven to 350 degrees

– In the meantime, heat up the butter in a pot in low heat and sautee the garlic.  Add in the crab fat paste, then the crab broth(be mindful of not putting too much), sugar and lemon juice. Stir well. Drop and cook the crab for about 10-15 minutes while pouring the sauce all over it. Turn off

– Put crabs and sauce altogether in a baking pan, make sure there’s enough space to baste them while baking. If the sauce is too thick, you might want to add about 2-3 tbsps of the crab broth or water. This prevents the sauce from drying out. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to pour sauce over on top while baking. Once should be good.

– Serve hot with garlic noodles. (Click here for the  recipe)

Bon Appetit!

Roasted Crab


  • When buying crabs, make sure to ask the staff or look for the female crab. Female has the rounder cape or some call it apron,  in its body where male crab has a pointy one. That’s if you like to eat the roe or eggs. Some won’t have it as they only sell male ones due to the fact that they put back female for more reproduction and keep population up
  • You can also use the top shell if you want to use for presentation. We do this in the blue crab ones and make an omelette. Although that is really time-consuming to make
  • The baking part only took 25 minutes here since there’s only 2 pieces of crab. If you are baking more than 2, make sure to bake at least 12-15 minutes per crab. So if you’re baking 4 you will double the baking time
  • Using baking pan, make sure you have enough room to baste it with sauce while baking
  • When picking the meat up to the last and smallest part, use the crab foot/toe to pick the meat out. No need to buy those small pick they sell from the store. Cracker is all you need
  • Boiling versus Steaming – I prefer boiling since I use them for the crab broth for the sauce I am making otherwise If we’re gonna eat the crabs with just plain lemon and butter. I’d go with steaming but cooking takes longer though. In the Philippines, just steaming it and dipping them in vinegar packed with crush garlic, ohhhh everybody would be in heaven…;p
  • The crab broth should be not too thick or not too soupy
  • This is great with drinking Pino Grigio or Sauvignon to pair it with. It is kind of dry which complements the taste from the crab and noodles

I like setting up the table prepared with the right tools and gadgets ;-p

I like setting up the table prepared with the right tools and gadgets ;-p

“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an Art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements”. – Xavier Marcel Boulestin (French Chef)

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