Stone Crab Claws & Sauce

It takes bravery and strong hands to catch stone crabs, of which I have neither. They live in very deep burrows.  I’m not reaching in an underwater hole up to my shoulder, especially when I think of the menacing claws on the creature inside (or what else could be in there). Their claws are strong enough to crush oyster shells, so just imagine what they could do to a human finger.bucketofstonecrabsWith some of the tastiest meat on the planet, not to mention a price tag of $30-$40 per pound, there are many people who think it’s worth sticking their arm in a hole, including the guys in my family.  So far only a few pinched fingers, no lost digits.

Florida stone crabs are tightly regulated.  Only the claws may be harvested, and egg-bearing females are off-limits.  We prefer to take one claw, which gives the crab a higher chance of survival.  The amputated claw is regenerated, usually within a year.stonecrabsThe claws are cooked immediately after harvesting, then plunged into ice.  This helps separate the meat from the shell. They’re best served chilled.  Crack them right before they go on the table.  These nutcrackers are not up to the task.  Use a special stone crab cracker, or wrap them in a towel and tap gently with a mallet so you don’t crush the shell into the meat.stonecrabclawThe meat is succulent and sweet beyond belief.  It needs nothing, but the right sauce will make you slow down and appreciate every bite.  You’ll find lots of stone crab sauces out there, but most of them overwhelm the crabmeat with bold flavors, or they’re too heavy.  My mom’s recipe is just right.  It’s creamy but light, and has just the right amount of fresh key lime.  This is the only sauce worthy of my favorite seafood, stone crab claws.stonecrabbite

Stone Crab Claws & Sauce
  1. stone crab claws
  2. 1/2 - 1 teaspoon wasabi powder, to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Coleman's dry mustard
  4. 1/2 cup mayo
  5. 3/4 teaspoon A1 sauce
  6. 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  7. juice of 1 key lime
  8. 1/4-1/3 cup sour cream
For freshly harvested stone crab claws
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice.
  2. Add the claws to the boiling water and cook 8-10 minutes for small to medium claws, 10-12 minutes for larger ones. Once cooked, remove them from the pot and immediately plunge them into the bowl of ice.
For the Sauce
  1. Mix the wasabi and mustard in a small bowl, smoothing out any lumps. Whisk in the A1, Worcestershire, and lime juice. Whisk in the mayo until smooth. Finally, whisk in the sour cream one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency and creaminess yo prefer. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like.
  2. Refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with chilled claws.
Suwannee Rose

The perfect sauce for sweet, succulent stone crabs: creamy but light, made with fresh Key lime juice. Also includes instructions for cooking your freshly harvested stone crab claws!

5 Comments Stone Crab Claws & Sauce

  1. Nicole December 18, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I love Stone crabs! We know lots of commercial fishermen in our neck of the woods and they nab theirs with traps. Will definitely try your sauce recipe when my Chicago mother-in-law visits in January – it’s a tradition to have stone crabs when she comes. Thanks for a fun post, and I love the pic of the kitty looking in the bucket!

    1. suwanneerose December 18, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Nicole! The guys love catching them while snorkeling, but I do hope we get our own traps one day. If you don’t catch your own, buying them directly from local fishermen is the way to go. I saw them for $39.99/lb at Whole Foods the other day. Crazy. It’s definitely a special occasion food! I hope you like my mom’s sauce.

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