Fresh Alaskan King Crab

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Related to the hermit crab, the much larger Alaskan King Crab is a favorite treat among seafood lovers. Of the three kinds of crab called the "king" crab, the Red King Crab is both the largest and most abundant. Adult males can weight up to 24 pounds, and are the only sex that are sold (females are off limits to shellfishers).

All types of King Crab live in the better part of the northern Pacific Ocean, with some of the largest populations being found off the coast of Alaskan islands. The crab industry is the second most profitable fishing industry in Alaska, second only to that of the sockeye salmon. This business makes millions each year for Alaska, but has been waning in recent years due to smaller catches.

Preparing Alaskan King Crab

The edible part of the Alaskan King Crab is the legs, of which each crab has ten. King Crab is best prepared from live crabs, but this is often impractical outside of Alaska. Instead, the crab is cleaned and cut into two sections. The legs are boiled in salt water, then dipped to cool in cold water. From there, the legs are frozen and shipped to their markets--primarily in the US and Japan.

Once the frozen legs arrive, the meat is usually prepared by steaming in either salt or fresh water (about 20 minutes is all it takes). The legs are cracked open, and the meat is eaten from inside. It is good hot, either plain or with lemon, butter, garlic or seafood sauce. Also, it can be served cold as part of a seafood salad, or in sandwiches.

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