Alaskan King Crab Legs

Written by Jared Vincenti
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A healthy and modestly priced alternative to lobster, Alaskan King Crab legs are becoming more and more popular on the menus of trendy American restaurants. Found in deep, cold waters from Siberia to Alaska, the three types of King Crab make up a significant part of Alaska's economy. King Crab fishing is a dangerous job, though--the traps weigh around 600lbs, and the crabs live far offshore. It is not uncommon for crab fishermen to face twenty foot swells out at sea while harvesting.

Preparing Crab Legs

Most Alaskans will tell you that King Crab tastes best fresh, but it is almost impossible to transport. While live lobster can be shipped cross country, a single adult King Crab can weigh between 10 and 24 pounds! On top of this, the body of the crab is not eaten--only the legs.

To remedy this problem, King Crabs will be prepared in Alaska and then shipped to the Continental U.S. The crab is split into two portions, and these sets of legs are boiled in salt water. The cooked legs are then chilled in cold salt water, and promptly frozen and shipped.

Once the prepared crab legs arrive, the chef will thaw them by steaming the crab over hot salt water. The cooked crab legs are then served, usually with butter, garlic, lemon, or cocktail sauce. Alternately, crabmeat can be served cold in salads and sandwiches, and some people even eat it plain.


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