Blue Crab Sauce

This classic sauce is intensely flavored. A little goes a long way. If your crab cakes fall apart while cooking, simply pour the sauce over the top of the cakes for an attractive presentation.


  • 6 small or 4 large live blue crabs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup good white wine (the wine you serve with the meal)
  • cups fish stock or crab or shrimp stock
  • fresh lemon juice or sherry vinegar to taste


Break the claws off the crabs and remove the top shells and gills. Crush the crab bodies with a mallet and begin to sauté in a wide pan with the butter, wine, and stock. Add the claws to the pan as well, but do not crush them as they should be used for garnish. Keep the mixture simmering, but do not let it boil. When it has reduced considerably and has begun to thicken, after 10 minutes, remove the claws and set aside, then strain into another pan. Taste for seasoning and finish off the reduction with a little lemon juice or sherry vinegar to correct the flavor. Serve immediately.

If the sauce is not thick enough or does not want to hold, add a little more cold butter, cut into small pieces, and whisk in vigorously. (An immersion blender works perfectly.)