Dungeness Crab Stock

  • Serves

    makes 10 Cups

To make his roasted garlic and Dungeness crab soup, chef Charlie Branford of Newport, Oregon's Local Ocean Seafoods makes an intensely flavored stock using the shells of the crab. This recipe first appeared in our April 2014 issue with Jane and Michael Stern's story From Western Waters.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 8 sprigs parsley
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 whole live Dungeness crabs
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bulb fennel, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 4 sprigs thyme


Step 1

Bring chile flakes, dried thyme, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemons, and 16 cups water to a boil in an 8-qt. saucepan. Add crabs; boil until cooked, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer crabs to an ice bath until chilled. Transfer cooking liquid, herbs, and lemons to a bowl; set aside. Clean crabs; reserve crabmeat for soup. Discard top shell, reserving brown meat and tomalley; chop crab leg shells into small pieces.

Step 2

Add butter to pan; melt over medium-high heat. Cook carrots, celery, onion, and fennel until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Add brandy; cook, stirring and scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan until reduced by half, 3–4 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid, brown meat, tomalley, shells, and thyme; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until vegetables are tender and stock is slightly reduced, about 1 hour. Let stock cool slightly and discard thyme sprigs, then, working in batches or using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; let cool completely. Chill stock up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

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