This Spicy Crab Mexican Recipe is made with whole cleaned crabs, dried ancho chilies, garlic, onion and fish broth.
This Crab recipe is made by cooking the crab in a delicious spicy broth. It is actually very easy to make and foolproof, especially if you are intimidated of cooking crabs. When I am craving seafood, I turn to my Crab Marinara, Lobster Bucatini or this crab dish. The crab is cooked in a nice spicy and flavorful broth that will have you keep reaching for more.
Most crab recipes include boiling the crab in plain salted water, but why not make your own broth to cook it in? This recipe was taught at the Escuela de Gastronomia Mexicana in Mexico City, and has now become my favorite way to cook crabs.
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: The combination of the onion, garlic, chilies and fish broth gives this such a delicious flavor.
Great for any weather: I love eating this during the winter and summer months. In the Northeast in US, the winter is actually the season for crab fishing. Because of this, many families enjoy crabs during the holidays.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Ancho chilies
- Seafood broth
See recipe card for quantities for this Spicy Crab Mexican Recipe.
What types of Crab should I cook with?
The most common types of crab include Dungeness crab, snow crab, king crab, stone crab, and blue crab. Crab species and availability tend to vary depending on your geographic area. In Mexico, there are many blue crabs on the coast. This is what we used to make this.
How to cook Mexican Crab
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add the chilies, garlic, and onion and boil for 15 minutes. Add the ingredients, along with 1-2 cups of the water used to boil, in a blender and blend until smooth.
In a large pot on medium heat, add the butter and wait for it to melt. Pour the blended sauce into the pot, and bring to a simmer. Pour in the fish broth and bring to a boil.
Add the parsley and stir. Simmer for 15 minutes, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the crabs in the broth until they turn orange, about 10 to 20 minutes.
Crab: You can clean the crabs yourself or have them cleaned at your local fishmarket. Just ask your fishmonger to do it for you. To clean the crab yourself, you will need to lift off the top shell by pulling on it from the back. Rinse the meaty part well.
Chile Ancho: This is a milder of most of the dried chilies in Mexico. You can buy them on Amazon or the ethnic section of your grocery store. You could alternativly use dried chilies like pasilla or guajillo.
Onion: I used a yellow onion but feel free to use white or red as well.
Broth: You can buy pre-made seafood broth from the store or make your own.
Garnish: Epazote is the common garnish for this recipe, although it is difficult to find. Parsley will work just as well.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - You can control the heat level by the amount of seeds you use from the dried chilies. Remove the seeds if you prefer a milder heat.
- Deluxe - Heat up butter and garlic on the stove until the butter melts and the garlic is fragrant. Pour this over the crab for a nice flavorful kick.
Check out this Mexican Rabbit Recipe.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality.
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Do not overcook the crab. Also, you can control the heat level by the amount of seeds you use from the dried chilies. Remove the seeds if you prefer a milder heat.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove