How to Serve Fresh Crab

Fresh, crispy crab cakes
Getty Images/kcline

What is the best way to serve supremely fresh crab meat? When it's at its best, just eating it directly out of the shell is the way to go (see our guide to fresh crab for tips). Or, you can add a bit more richness by serving bowls of melted butter alongside for people to dip their bites of crab into. To keep things cool and to add more flavor, try garnishing with Aïoli, a French garlic-infused mayonnaise.

Plain crab not your cup of tea? You can always use picked crab meat to make crisp-yet-tender Classic Crabcakes or Crab and Seafood Gumbo. You'll also find it's very difficult to resist a rich Crab and Corn Chowder.

If you're looking for something less classic, yet something that will easily impress your guests, give these Buttery Garlic Crab Bruschetta a try.

The classic dim sum appetizer Crab Rangoon is a fabulous way to use frozen or canned crab. It's perhaps a bit of a waste with fresh crab, but if the creamy fried goodness calls out to you and that's what you have on hand, we will certainly understand! A fresher take, however, is this Thai Crab Salad with Creamy Coconut-Lime Dressing.