My entire extended family is from eastern Maryland. I have many fond childhood memories of spending summer evenings at my grandfather’s house catching fireflies, listening for the ice cream truck, watching an orioles game on TV and eating steamed crabs. Steamed blue crabs are basically synonymous with summer in my family. I realize that in many parts of the world, the idea of steaming a live crab and then cracking the shell with a mallet and picking out the meat sounds… well, just straight up barbaric. However, I grew up with it and I love it. It is fun and it brings me back to my childhood. The only problem is that true Marylanders only want one thing on their steamed crabs… Old Bay Seasoning. A type of seasoning, that is definitely off limits for anyone avoiding nightshades. Maryland steamed crabs are also traditionally steamed in a combination of water, white vinegar, and beer, making them a bad idea for anyone avoiding grains and gluten. I have been trying to create a yummy AIP version of steamed crabs for two summers now and I think I have finally found a winning recipe. The key is to make sure that you have enough seasoning on the shells that it carries over onto the meat as you’re eating it. The key to this recipe is the crushed garlic. The texture on the crabs is similar to that of the old bay seasoning, so it works well. However, because it requires so much this is one instance where I would highly recommend buying it in a jar rather than making your own. Here is an AIP friendly brand. I had a lot of fun making these this year, and if you also happen to have roots in the Chesapeake Bay area or you just enjoy steamed crabs, I hope you will enjoy them too.
Here is a fun video of my dad and my hubby putting the crabs in the steamer this year: (Double Click to Play)
Garlic Steamed Crabs (AIP/Paleo)
1 dozen live blue crabs
32 oz of Apple Cider Vinegar
32 oz of Water
6 TBS coarse sea salt
3 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS turmeric
3 TBS garlic powder
½ cup of crushed garlic
Using a 15 and ½ quart steamer pot or larger, pour your water and vinegar into the bottom of the pot and insert the steamer tray. Bring the water to a boil. In a small bowl combine your salt, oregano, turmeric and garlic powder. Using tongs or gloves, pick up the crabs and place them in the pot. Sprinkle all of your spice mix over the crabs. Then liberally spoon your crushed garlic over the crabs and close the lid. Steam the crabs for 30 minutes. Remove them with tongs and serve.