This easy crab butter sauce can be made four different ways. Try it plain, or season with lemon, garlic or cayenne. Serve with crab legs!
Who else loves crab legs?
I know, I know.
We all love crab legs!
Last month I was positively delighted when our frozen Dungeness crab legs arrived from Sitka Salmon Shares, and I've been happily planning out all the different ways to eat this tasty treat.
That said, there's something pretty fabulous about crab legs dipped in butter sauce. It might seem simple, but it's one of the best things in life.
Today, I'm going to show you how to make four versions of crab butter sauce. All four options are easy and pair perfectly with crab meat.
Preparing the Crab
First things first: take a moment to make sure you know how to steam and crack your crab legs.
I like to use a seafood cracker to help speed up the crab cracking process.
After removing the crab meat, make sure to save the crab shells to make seafood stock.
How to Make Crab Butter Sauce
Start with butter. I bet you figured that part out already!
Put the butter in a saucepan or a butter warmer, and heat the butter until it melts.
Crab Butter Sauce: Four Ways
At this point, you'll add seasonings (or not).
For plain butter sauce, simply add a little lemon juice and you're done!
For spicy butter sauce, add red chili flakes and lemon juice.
Add minced garlic and lemon juice for garlic butter sauce.
And finally, add lemon zest and lemon juice for a lemon butter sauce.
Serve the warm, seasoned butter along with steamed crab legs and lots of napkins!
Make It Ahead of Time
If you prefer, you can make the butter sauce ahead of time and either refrigerate or freeze it.
Simply reheat before serving.
Other Ways to Use This Butter
Seasoned, melted butter sauce is delicious with any type of shellfish!
It's tasty on other types of seafood too!
Crab Butter Sauce
Crab Butter Sauce (Base):
- ¼ cup butter (½ stick)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- small pinch sea salt (optional) Omit if using salted butter or if serving along with heavily seasoned crab.
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- zest from one lemon
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat.Allow the butter to melt but not brown.
- As soon as the butter melts, add any extra seasoning if desired (garlic, red pepper or lemon zest).Continue heating 1-2 minutes, or until the seasonings become fragrant.Stir in the lemon juice. Serve warm along with crab legs.