Make Choptank’s Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs


Choptank participated in this past weekend’s Taste the West Village, which helped raise funds for P.S.41 and its Greenroof Environmental Literacy Laboratory (GELL), Michelle Obama’s Healthy School Food Initiative, and Share Our Strength’s Project Frontline. Partner Kevin Patricio shares the recipe for the restaurant’s signature Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs.

“Eating crabs is an intimate experience,” he tells Fork in the Road. “You get down and dirty, picking meat with your fingers, often while sipping cold beer. And since it’s not a quick endeavor, I always find myself eating crabs with people that I love spending time with.”

Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs

1 dozen large Maryland Blue Crabs
1 can National Bohemian or other crappy beer
2 cups malt vinegar
1 cup Old Bay Seasoning

In a large stock pot, place a grate or something to keep the crabs elevated just above the liquid. Add the vinegar and the beer, enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and bring to a boil. Place the crabs in the pot, not more than two crabs in a layer. Dust them aggressively with Old Bay. Cover and steam for approximately 15 minutes or until the crab shells are bright red, indicating that they are cooked through.

Check to make sure all crabs are fully cooked before removing. Serve on newspaper-covered table with cold beers, steamed corn, and potatoes. Mallets or heavy butter knives are recommended for getting at the claws. (Note: If you’re doing more than a dozen, simply add a bit of water to the liquid after first use and ensure that the bottom of the pot is not scorching.)