simple crab bisque

by kacia on 8 Jan ’13 · 22 comments

IMG_3519 I married a Maryland man.

When I was first moving to Pittsburgh–which is a story for its own time–my mom gave me one rule:

“You can’t marry anyone from Pittsburgh.”

It wasn’t anything about the city or the people–just the distance.  Wisconsin and Pittsburgh aren’t exactly next door neighbors.
But we sure are thankful for Skype, planes, cars, and telephones.

Maryland is to fresh crab meat as Wisconsin is to cheese.

As you’ve probably guessed: I needed to learn {and learn quickly} how to use this Maryland love.

I was terrified to try my hand at Crab Bisque, but after a few attempts that shouldn’t be repeated and the purchase of a can of clam juice,
which I will never do again.

I’ve come up with a recipe that is simple, delicious, and Maryland-er approved.


{download/print recipe here}


1 lbs fresh crab
8 T butter
1 c carrots [optional]
1 large onion
½ c flour
32 oz/1 qt chicken broth
1 small can of tomato paste
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
2 pinches of nutmeg
½ t saltpepper to taste
1 t smoke paprika
1 can of evaporated milk/coconut milk/cream
½ c sherry [optional]
siracha chili hot sauce [optional]


  1. Melt butter in a 8 qt stock pot.
  2. While butter is melting, put carrots and onions in a food processor. [I turn mine into mush – but you can chop as much as you’d like]
  3. Add the carrots and onions to the butter.  Cover and let simmer until vegetables are tender. [~4 min]
  4. Whisk in the flour to create a roux.  Allow the flour to cook-out a bit, stirring continually.
  5. Gradually add the broth.
  6. Add the tomato paste and whisk until smooth.
  7. Bring to boil while stirring almost constantly.
  8. Add the cayenne, nutmeg, salt, pepper, milk of choice, and sherry. Add siracha chili sauce to taste.   [I’ve also added all spice, ginger, garlic – whatever you’d like!]
  9. Stir in the crabmeat and cook until it is heated through.  Do not boil.
  10. Serve!

Notes:      If it gets too thick, add broth, milk or cream to add more liquid.


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie January 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

annnd…pinned :) YUM!


kacia January 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

let me know how you like it!! xoxo!


Heather @ Heather's Dish January 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

Kacia, seriously – I am out of control drooling right now!


kacia January 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Eeks! I’m nervous for your to try it!! you’re like….SUPER talented when it comes to food!!!


Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough January 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

This looks scrumdiddlyumptious, seriously — LOVE the idea of using coconut milk and sriracha! YUM.


kacia January 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Yes!! I use coconut milk as a substitute for just about everything!! haha – so good!!


Shannon January 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

I married a Maryland-er too! Mark grew up catching his own crabs off a dock near his house. I have made countless terrible crab cakes (with maybe a few successes). Perhaps it is time I give crab bisque a shot? After over six years of marriage, you would think that I would have tried this by now…


kacia January 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Yes. I leave the crab cakes up to Andy – but I limit his use of Old Bay!!! YUCK!!!


Megan (FriedOkra) January 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Mmmmm. Now all I need is a pound of (actual) fresh crab. In the Chicago burbs. Sigh. :)


kacia January 8, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Oh my goodness – I honestly didn’t think about that when we went home to Wisconsin [we probably drove RIGHT PAST YOU] – I went to the grocery store…only to NOT really find any crab meat. #FAIL

I’ll ship you some! :)


Cally January 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Yay for marrying Maryland, crab-loving men! Definitely need to try this recipe out on my Baltimore hubby. :) And definitely going to add some Old Bay seasoning! xoxo


kacia January 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

can you tell I’m not an Old Bay fan :) I put it on the table so that Andy can add it himself!! :)


Erica January 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

MMmmm! Trying this weekend; friends coming over & needed a good soup to start!


kacia January 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

AHHHH! Pressure!! I hope it turns out! Or i’ll pay for pizza for y’all :)

Wholey’s has great prices on crab!


Erica January 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Oh, yeah, Wholeys!


Kerry January 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Wow! I am so excited right now. I am a Marylander and this crab bisque looks amazing. I’m gonna have to try it!


kacia January 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

AHH! let me know what you think!! I always get nervous when someone from Maryland has it…but so far they’ve either loved it …or just been really nice to me :)


rachel January 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

AHHH – this looks Amazing!! Can’t wait to try it!!!


Meaghan January 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

thanks, Kacia! I just made this (after discovering your blog) – just added some old bay for a MD touch :) God bless


Rachel January 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

Kacia – do you shred/chop up the meat? The fresh crab meat I found is in decent size chunks. Im not very seafood cultured :)


Marisa May 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Mmm, loved this recipe, it came out sooo delicious


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