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When Boiling Crab Legs, Season The Water For Maximum Flavor

crab in pot of boiling water
crab in pot of boiling water - Shaiith/Getty Images

Many people enjoy eating crabs for their naturally delicious flavors, which are sweet with a hint of oceanic brine. But let's be real, as tasty as it is, eating the same, no-seasoning-included crab meat can get a bit boring (that's why there are so many crab recipes out there). If you've had your fill of plain crab, try adding some seasonings when you're boiling those meaty crab legs. If you've never tried this before, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes. Not only does it boost the crab's natural flavor, but it also adds new dimensions of taste that will make your dining experience even more enjoyable.

The process is quite simple. When you're boiling or steaming crab legs, just add some aromatic seasonings to the water. These ingredients will seep into the crab's meat, refreshing its flavor and perhaps even giving it a new scent (a big plus if you don't like the odor of seafood).

Now, if you're someone who truly enjoys the natural taste of crabs, don't worry! Seasoning the water is meant to enhance and maybe even elevate the existing flavors, not completely replace them. That's why it's always recommended that you be careful about how much seasoning you're using, as overpowering the delicate crab taste is not ideal. Remember, the goal is to upgrade, not dominate it!

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

Seasonings To Add To Your Boiling Water Pot For Superb Crab Legs

snow crabs boiling in pot
snow crabs boiling in pot - Bloomberg/Getty Images

Salt is the most common and "safest" seasoning to use, and a tablespoon can enhance the natural briny taste of the meat without significantly altering the crab's original flavor. So, if you're new to seasoning crab legs, start with just a pinch of salt.

When you're ready to take it up a notch, you can try adding lemon juice and rinds (also known as the zest) into the pot. They're added for the same reason that seafood is often served with a lemon wedge — to complement the flavor. Crab meat has a distinct protein taste, which can be balanced out with a tangy touch from the acidity of the lemon juice. As for the zest, it's the most aromatic part of the whole fruit. Grating a bit of it into the water will also imbue a bit of that citrusy scent into your crab and mask the seafood smell.

Our final tip is Old Bay seasoning. This blend of celery salt, spices, and paprika is beloved in seafood circles for its ability to impart a smoky, savory taste to anything it's used in. Naturally, it's a perfect match for crabs. Use a mixture of six ounces of Old Bay to four quarts water, then boil the crab legs in it. The flavors of the crab meat will pop instantly with a side of smokiness and spiciness from the seasoning!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.