Dungeness Crab vs King Crab Legs
Dungeness Crab vs King Crab Legs Online
Best Crab for Eating
First contender is the Dungeness crab. Named after its home in the Dungeness port of Washington, this crab is popular across the west coasts of the US and Canada alike. Dungeness crab legs and claws make their way into the market every single year at low tides. Frozen Dungeness crabs retain high quality taste and nutrition, making them an excellent choice no matter where you live.
You might not know it, but these crabs are the state crustacean of Oregon. This is due to their surprising importance to the state’s economy. Over fifty million pounds of Dungeness crab is harvested every year, a respectable amount of which come from Oregon. But Oregon isn’t the only place these crabs come from. Their habitat ranges from the Aleutian Islands to as far south as the Magdalena Bay. Across their habitat they are well known for their taste, forming a staple in the diets of British Columbia, California, and the Pacific Northwest.
There’s some history to this popular crustacean, too. For generations, Native Americans dined on Dungeness crab clusters and helped popularize them with settlers. They entered the diet of the pioneers almost as soon as they were available and stuck around, becoming popular dishes like Crab Louie and Cioppino. Their preparation is a simple thing: you can just boil the crab, by boiling water and tossing it in for fifteen minutes. Some make the point that simple boiling causes the meat to lower in quality though. If you want to make your Dungeness crab the best you possibly can, look into half-backing it.
To half-back a crab, and this works with any of the crabs on this list, you just flip it over and chop it in half, head to tail. Once that’s done, the guts and gills can be cut or hosed out. This prevents their somewhat-unsavory flavors from bleeding into the meat, giving the crab a more delicate flavor that chefs across the west coast will praise. Another big advantage to this method is speed. Half-backed crabs can cook much faster as the process introduces the option of steaming rather than boiling.
Another big point in the crab’s favor is their sustainability. They breed very quickly, meaning that no matter how many times you buy Dungeness crab claws, online or in person, there will be more next year. It’s a great choice for the environmentally sensitive among us. Seafood Watch rated the Dungeness Crab as a “Good Alternative” to overfished animals. The other reason it earns that rating is that crabbing is far better for the environment than fishing methods used for other animals; this, too, applies to everything on this list, because crabbing is much more exclusive, netting almost entirely crabs. This makes the American traditional option an eco-friendly, easy, and safe crab to fish, prepare, and eat. If you want something people will find familiar yet satisfying and delicious, the Dungeness crab is for you.
Some people prefer to shake things up. If the Dungeness crab isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always the classic, high quality option: Alaskan king crab. A lot of us have heard of king crab legs, and maybe king crab price. Not to worry: even frozen, king crab legs are high quality, meaning that you can get the taste you love with the convenience of shipping frozen instead of paying ten times as much for overnight shipping. To boot, it’s the biggest king crab, so you’re going to enjoy even more of its striking flavor with each king crab leg. Coming in at a whopping maximum of eleven inch carapace, nearly six foot leg span, and twenty eight pounds, king crabs get huge.
These monster crabs are native to the Bering Sea, which some of you may have heard of. The art of fishing in the ice cold waters of Alaska is dangerous, but rewarding: twenty four million pounds of crab come in each season. While it’s the most expensive crab per pound, it’s also the most desirable. Their flavor is undeniably high quality and the volume of meat is impressive, making these crabs both better tasting and easier to prepare than most of their crustacean counterparts. From a sheer flavor and texture perspective, it’s hard to dispute that Alaskan King crab is by far the best choice.
Alaskan King crabs are pretty interesting from a less culinary view as well. Back in the sixties, Soviet Russia introduced them to the Eastern world- unfortunately, it was as an invasive species to Europe. Its population exploded, wreaking havoc across the Barents Sea. Fishermen described the way they ate everything living, and some nonliving things like nets and lines, as leaving behind a desert. In Norway, they’re sometimes even called “Stalin’s crabs” after the ecological nightmare they have enacted upon the area.
Despite this, though, the Europeans take care to protect the crabs from extinction; fishing quotas and seasons do apply, and managing the population of the crabs is carefully handled by Norway themselves. King crab legs are still an expensive delicacy, despite their numbers, and the people of Norway value them as a trade commodity and export. They have a good impact on the economy and culture, giving the people of Europe a chance to taste traditionally American seafoods. In the end, the crabs add a lot to European commerce and culture, sparking joy in those who partake.
This is all possible because of a surprising level of adaptability on the crabs’ part. They are quite resistant to changes in salinity and temperature, the only real effects being a change in growth speed. The crabs, in many environments, will still grow strong and healthy. It’s a trait not often observed in sea life, which tends to have rather specific environmental needs just to survive. The Alaskan king crab earns its title, in size, adaptability, and power alike. After all, crustaceans are predators, eating anything fool enough to wander into their reach.
The last contender on this list is the snow crab, something a bit more out there for our adventurous types. Not quite as well known as the Dungeness or Alaskan King crabs, the snow crab is still a great choice. Snow crab rolls are a fun, delicious snack, and snow crab legs hold a quality that’s not to be discounted. They breed fast and often, making their spread across the Northwest Atlantic and North Pacific. They’ve even found their way into the Barents Sea alongside Alaskan King Crabs, although it seems they got their on their own power.
These rugged creatures make their homes on the seafloor, cracking shells just to survive. They’re caught by trapping, like any other crab, primarily in Canada. While the popularity of snow crab declined since the 1980s, the quality did not. They still make top notch meals; for those who aren’t sure how to eat snow crab legs, they can be grilled, boiled, steamed if you half-back them, and more. Just because it’s a less known species doesn’t make it any scarier to prepare than your more common types, and its nature as a lesser known meal gives the crab an exotic appeal to guests.
Crab Nutrition Facts
Snow crabs are also just as nutritious as the other entries in this article. Many people, whether or not they know it, are deficient in zinc in their diet. Crab provides this essential mineral in spades, making it a great supplement to any nutrition plan. It’s also high in B12 and folic acids, the vitamins that let you use the energy in your body well. This means that someone who eats a healthy amount of crab will have more energy and be healthier than someone who doesn’t, making crab a valuable choice no matter who you are.
Which crab is right for you? Do you prefer the traditional American style of the Dungeness crab, the classic choice of the Alaskan King crab, or the unusual snow crab? No matter what you choose, all crab works well when frozen; as dwellers of the coldest waters in the world, their meat is naturally designed to stand up to the effects of the cold, and retains its excellent texture and flavor through the whole freezing process. It’s a great choice for restaurants that want to serve quality seafood, or for private individuals looking to shake up their home cooking. Whichever you are, picking a high quality crab will elevate your cuisine to the next level.