Crab Norfolk

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

Crab Norfolk is a specialty of Norfolk, Virginia, where it was first created by W. O. Snowden of the once popular, now defunct, Snowden and Mason Restaurant, which opened in that city in 1924. The dish was originally cooked in specially designed, small oval aluminum pans. In some establishments in Norfolk it is still cooked and served in those pans.


  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • ¼ cup white or cider vinegar
  • ¼ pound butter, preferably unsalted
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 drops Tabasco sauce, or more to taste


  1. Pick over the crabmeat to remove any trace of shell or cartilage, handling the meat gently.
  2. Put the crabmeat in a bowl and sprinkle it with vinegar.
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet and add the crab, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Stir the crab, turning it as gently as possible, leaving the lumps as large as possible. Cook only until heated through.
  4. Serve hot with buttered rice on the side.