Did you know that king crabs averagely weigh 6 to 8 pounds, but some weigh about 20 pounds? A full-grown king crab has a leg span that is not less than 5.9 feet. If you haven’t come across crabs before, you might not take a liking to them till you have had a taste. With all that exoskeleton and long legs, the first question that comes to mind is; can you eat those?
King crabs classify as seafood because that’s where they come from. It is a delicacy that has been enjoyed by various culinary circles for a long time now and it is still relevant in recent times. King crabs are much larger than snow crabs.
What do king crab legs taste like? The taste of king crab legs is rich. The legs taste like lobsters and have that premium feel about them. When you crack the exoskeleton with your crab mallet and get to the meat, you will find that the texture is smooth and soft and doesn’t shred easily like other crab meat.
Crabs normally have a taste that you can describe as briny or salty. King crab legs taste nothing like that.
When compared to other crabs, king crabs are bigger, with a spiky exoskeleton. Some king crab legs even weigh as much as 6 pounds.
Nutritional Benefits of King Crab Legs
Aside from being delicious, the nutritional benefits of king crab legs are a big plus. These include omega-3 fatty acids, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
King crab legs don’t contain a lot of calories, one crab leg approximately amounts to 134 grams. In that, you have 26 grams of protein, 2.1 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, dietary fiber, sugar, and carbohydrates. The proportion of protein in king crab legs makes their meat leaner than beef.
King crab legs are the healthiest portion of the entire crab, this is because they do not have a negative impact on the blood cholesterol levels like the remaining parts of the crab do.
King crab legs contain fat, but most of the fats present are the healthy kind. The aforementioned serving of king crab legs offers 7 grams of polyunsaturated fats and 2 grams of monounsaturated fats. These fats are essential to the body because of the health benefits that they pose to the heart.
In a serving of king crab legs, you get no less than 614 mg of omega-3 acids. These fatty acids help to control inflammation in the body and help prevent low-density lipoprotein (LDL/bad) cholesterol from clogging up the arterial walls.
Just like many other kinds of seafood out there, king crab is nutrient-dense meat, even more dense than beef. It is a good source of vitamin C; which plays an important role when it comes to healing wounds and boosting the body’s immunity. It is also a good source of vitamin B12 and folate; which are responsible for red blood cell formation.
King crab legs are a good source of minerals like selenium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and copper. King crab legs have a high amount of sodium because they live in saltwater. People trying to watch their sodium intake should be cautious.
Culinary Uses of King Crab Legs
There are several ways you can go about preparing your crab legs. When crabs are harvested, they are boiled and frozen so that their freshness can be preserved. Crabs bought from stores are already precooked, so all you need to do is reheat them somehow.
You can start your preparation by boiling them. Boiling king crab legs allows water to flow in between the shell and the meat. That way, your crab legs are kept moist and full of juices. But with the boiling process, you need to drain, so that it doesn’t get too watery.
Steaming is a better way of keeping your crab legs from being too watery. You can steam the crab legs in a steaming basket, the steaming process allows the flavor of the crab meat to be contained in the shell.
You can also bake your crab legs in the oven. The baking process enhances the flavor and can be done effortlessly. If you have a big dinner to plan, baking them will give you time to attend to other side dishes. Crab legs can also be grilled or cooked in an instant pot.
No serving of king crab legs is complete without melted dipping butter. The proper and traditional way to serve king crab is to serve them with dipping butter and lime wedges.
Where Do King Crab Legs Come From? How to Procure Them?
King crab legs come from king crabs that live in the sea. King crabs are also known as the alaskan king crab or red king crab. They are commonly found in cold seas because of their large size and preferred food.
King crabs were formerly classified under the superfamily Paguroidea but now, they are in a superfamily of their own; Lithodoidea. There are over 121 known species of the king crab; they are mostly found in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia.
The harvesting time for king crabs is limited, as fishermen can only harvest them for a few weeks in winter. But in grocery and departmental stores, king crab legs can be found throughout the year.
Is King Crab Better Than Snow Crab?
The shell on snow crab legs is easier to break than that of king crab. The flavor of the meat is sweet, mild, and delicate. The flavor of king crab legs meat is better because it doesn’t taste fishy. Having to pick which one is better, will be heavily dependent on personal preference.
Facts You Don’t Know About King Crab Legs
- King crab legs are expensive for a number of reasons, one of them is that they are hard to catch because of their dwindling population. Other factors are shipping container shortages, shipping constraints, and more.
- King crabs are usually targeted as prey by fishes. New species of nemertean worms are known to eat king crab embryos.