Along the Chesapeake bay, blue crabs are famous. These are rather small crabs but the meat is very sweet. One of the ways to enjoy this crab is to go to the bay and get one bushel of boiled or steamed blue crabs. Then, sit on the dock, crack the shells and eat. Throw carcasses back into the Bay as you eat and see lots of fish come up to feed on whatever meat we missed. If you or your friend have a boat on the Chesapeake bay, this is the preferred way of enjoying Maryland blue crabs. You can also go to one of crab houses in the area. They will give you a bib, a wooded mallet and a special fork. A mound of freshly boiled crabs is dumped on the news-paper covered table, and everybody has at it with hands and mallet. It is customary, especially in Maryland, that crabs are cooked with “Old Bay” seasoning. McCormick used to have a factory in downtown Baltimore where they made this seasoning. For me, this is good but too much work and the Old Bay seasoning is too strong. Beside just eating steamed or boiled crabs, two most famous crab dishes in this area must be crab cake and deep fried soft shell crab (especially as a sandwich). Although it was a weekday night, I made crab cakes. We also love soft shell crab (particularly as tempura) and hope I can post that dish sometime later.
For the accompaniment, I made a simple cucumber, nappa (Chinese) cabbage (only soft and green part), mandarin orange (peel outer and inner skins. Halve and slice) with a simple olive oil, balsamic vinegar dressing. You could serve crab cakes with a tartar sauce but we like to eat simply with a lemon.
Speaking of crabs, we really like Japanese specialized crab “kani” 蟹 restaurants (especially in Sapporo). They serve crabs in so many different ways but you do not have to work to get the crab meat. If you visit Japan especially Sapporo, try these specialized crab restaurants and their course menu.