It’s one of those beloved rituals of Gulf seafood lovers: sliding your front teeth across the sturdy membrane of a crab claw to remove every last bit of sweet meat. Crab claws are one of my favorite party foods for their charm, ease and taste.
All you need to make them is a pound of local crab claws and a flavorful marinade you can design on a whim. I love to serve crab claws in a simple white bowl (this one is from Pier One) placed in the center of this antique plate I received from my dad and stepmom years ago. It came from Lakewood in Atlanta, and it’s been perfect for the Louisiana life.
Assemble the crab claws an hour or two before serving so the marinade has time to do its thing. Plate with French bread. Easy and elegant, this dish checks all sorts of boxes.
Take as many liberties as you like with the marinade, but do try to incorporate the tarragon. Its punchy anise flavor is a perfect match for the delicately flavored crab. And if you live here in South Louisiana, tarragon a wonderful year-round herb for your kitchen garden. Enjoy!
Marinated Crab Claws
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons (should be about 4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Creole or Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
½ teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
Several turns fresh cracked black pepper
10 dashes Tabasco sauce
16 oz. crab claws, gently rinsed and loose shells removed
Combine olive oil and next 8 ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add crab claws and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer claws into a serving bowl. Serve with French bread slices and a side bowl of reserved marinade (optional). Don’t forget to Include an extra plate or bowl for discarded shells.