Brown Crabs with Lemon Mayonnais and a Hint of Beer

Brown Crab Rcipe


Late summer and fall, from August to October, is the peak season for crab fishing and the time of year when the European brown crab is at its best. Shells and claws filled with delicious crab meat are enjoyed all over Norway.

Lise Finckenhagen, who trained as a chef at Michelin starred restaurant Bagatelle in Oslo, created this tasty recipe (if you live in North America, you can replace the European brown crab with Atlantic rock crab or Jonah crab):

– Freshly boiled brown crabs with tasty bread, mayonnaise and lemon is a delicacy, in all its simplicity. If you are going to cook the crabs yourself, you should try to add some flavor to the boiling water. This time, I used beer, dill and lemon – but you could also try different spices like fresh ginger, cloves, star anise and plenty of black pepper.


(Serves 3)


Boiling Water

4 live brown crabs (alternatively Atlantic rock crab, Jonah crab)

3 liters water (0.8 gallon)

3 deciliters beer (1 1/3 cups)

1 deciliter salt (1/2 cup)

1 deciliter sugar (1/2 cup)

1 lemon, preferably organic

1 bunch dill stems


Lemon Mayonnaise

Grated zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 egg yolks

2 deciliters organic cooking oil (1 cup)


Red pepper sauce



  1. Bring the water added beer, salt and sugar to a boil. Add the dill stems and the lemon cut into slices (wash the lemon carefully in hot water before you put it into the boiling water).
  2. Add the brown crabs when the water comes back to a boil. Then bring the water back to a boil one more time, turn down the heat and let the crabs simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. The crabs are ready when the legs easily loosen. Remove the crabs from the hot water and put them on their backs for cooling.
  4. Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice and egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk in the oil, little by little. Season the mayonnaise with salt and a few drops red pepper sauce.
  5. Serve the cooked crabs with lemon mayonnaise, minced black pepper and some tasty bread. Garnish with lemon and dill.
  6. Tip: To make it easier for your guests, you should prepare the brown crab. There are many instructive videos on YouTube, included this one:

By the way,

Did you know that an adult European brown crab may have a carapace width of up to 25 centimeters (10 inches), weighs up to 3 kilos (6.6 pounds), and that some crabs can reach the age of 100?

God appetitt!



Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Categories: Culinary Surprises, Recipes

3 replies

  1. Aaaaaah, I love this time of year. In Norfolk we eat the the ready dressed (Cromer) crab, I often combine it with samphire from the saltmarshes and baby potatoes, but now I’ll try a variation of Lise’s recipe. Thank you so much for sharing, Thor! 🙂

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