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Joe's Crab Shack BBQ Crab

By Todd Wilbur


Score: 4.78. Votes: 9
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My waitress said that I'd be tempted to lick the shells clean from my order of "BBQ Style" Dungeness crab at Joe's Crab Shack. She was right. Even though it's called "BBQ" on the menu, there's no grilling involved here. Instead, a super flavorful seasoning paste is brushed on steamed crab of your choice just before it's served to your table. With that bit of knowledge under my belt, the only thing I had to figure out was how to clone that seasoning. When I analyzed a sample of the dark red paste I first noticed the distinctive flavor of Old Bay. That's a good start. After adding a lot of salt to the blend along with paprika for color I was definitely heading in the right direction. But the taste was missing something until I invited a little MSG to the dance. You'll find it in the spice aisle of your supermarket under the brand-name Accent. After just a bit of sugar and a touch of cayenne pepper for extra kick, I had a dry rub that was a dead ringer for the original blend. Now it was just a matter of adding some vegetable oil to the seasoning to create a paste that could be brushed on Dungeness crab, snow crab, or king crab legs after the crab is fully steamed. Next time you have a crab cookout, give this one a try and you too will serve crab that's "shell lickin' good."

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • ...

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Average rating:

Score: 4.78. Votes: 9
Rating of votes (9)
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Crab Queen
Mar 5, 2016, 23:00

After reading the recipe and my family really wanting Joe's Crab Shack Crabs, I remembered that I had a seasoning in my cabinet that would add the smokey, BBQ flavor that everyone has mentioned is missing. I omitted the paprika, and the salt that the recipe calls for and I used Weber Kansas City Style BBQ Seasoning in its place and the flavor was amazing. The recipe tastes just like Joe's! Do yourself a favor and try it, you will love it!

Diane Smith
Aug 24, 2015, 22:00

I love the bbq seasoning at Joe's Crab Shack and was hoping to find out how to make it at home. I tried this recipe today on some snow crab legs. It was good however not at all like the original delicious seasoning from Joe's. This does not have the bbq sauce savory flavor as Joe's. The Old Bay is too overpowering and this version is also too salty for my taste. Joe's version tastes bbq saucy and also doesn't have Old Bay taste to it.