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Tackling a whole king crab


pickledgarlic
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Hola,

Moved awfully close to china town a few weeks ago and I took a walk --found some good pork and lots of good braising beefs cuts. Turned a corner and WHAM giant crawling massive huge king crabs going for $5-6/lb.

I kind of want one.

I have no idea how I would prep the thing. Or even kill it. It's _huge_.

All I can find googling is stuff about king crab legs.

Has anyone ever tackled one of these before? Can anyone point me to a good reference (book or webpage)? I really want to have folks over for a king crab feast and pass out from a crab-butter-garlic induced coma.

Any ideas?

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I found this for you,

http://www.fishex.com/recipes/crab/roasted-whole-crab.html,

note sure if this is what you're looking for.

Anyways, how big are we talking here?

Obviously you are planning to conquer the crabs at home, so I hope you have big pots and pans!

Good luck, let us know how it goes. I want some pictures!

Edited by jlaw6402 (log)
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Hola,

Moved awfully close to china town a few weeks ago and I took a walk --found some good pork and lots of good braising beefs cuts.  Turned a corner and WHAM giant crawling massive huge king crabs going for $5-6/lb. 

I kind of want one.

I have no idea how I would prep the thing.  Or even kill it.  It's _huge_. 

All I can find googling is stuff about king crab legs. 

Has anyone ever tackled one of these before?  Can anyone point me to a good reference (book or webpage)?  I really want to have folks over for a king crab feast and pass out from a crab-butter-garlic induced coma. 

Any ideas?

I suggest that you cook it just like you would anyother crab accept on a larger scale (eg. a really big pot!) bring a large amount of water to a boil, add some aromatics (onion, celery, carrot ect.) maybe a little white wine (or a lot in this case) throw in the crab(s) alive (you may need to push them down into the water as some crabs will push back up to get out of the water) and simmer until it turns bright red.

I am not sure about the body meat on one of these guys as I have not actually worked with one whole and have only seen the legs for sale so the body meat might not be very good or easy to get at but it seems like it should be there.

good luck and please take some pics!

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Trying to dunk a huge king crab into a pot of boiling water might be quite a chore, especially if it fights back!

If you have a large freezer, put the crab in there while you get that big pot of water boiling. That will "put it to sleep" without freezing the meat, and there'll be no resistence when it goes for a hot bath.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Hola,

Moved awfully close to china town a few weeks ago and I took a walk --found some good pork and lots of good braising beefs cuts.  Turned a corner and WHAM giant crawling massive huge king crabs going for $5-6/lb. 

I'm surprised. I thought (correct me if I'm wrong) that the crabs (Alaskan King or Russian King) were always frozen upon arrival back at the harbor from where the boats originate, and that they have to be kept frozen until end-user purchase.

John S.

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Hola,

Moved awfully close to china town a few weeks ago and I took a walk --found some good pork and lots of good braising beefs cuts.  Turned a corner and WHAM giant crawling massive huge king crabs going for $5-6/lb. 

I'm surprised. I thought (correct me if I'm wrong) that the crabs (Alaskan King or Russian King) were always frozen upon arrival back at the harbor from where the boats originate, and that they have to be kept frozen until end-user purchase.

John S.

We can buy them fresh and alive here. It's King Crab season as we speak and they are going for about $9/lb right now. The best way to do cook it is to boil it in a huge pot of water...probably outside on a propane burner.

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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I'm surprised. I thought (correct me if I'm wrong) that the crabs (Alaskan King or Russian King) were always frozen upon arrival back at the harbor from where the boats originate, and that they have to be kept frozen until end-user purchase.

We see them here in Chinese restaurants too, all big and scary looking in the tanks. I have no idea how they kill them, but the legs are usually steamed then topped with garlic. Even better is when they top them with fried shallots.

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We see them here in Chinese restaurants too, all big and scary looking in the tanks.

Okay, grab your shotgun (I've been playing Left For Dead too long!)...

I'd be interesting to find out the average ratio of body-to-leg meat there is in one of those monsters.

Starkman

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It's quite common in some Chinese shops here (Vancouver) too.

Don't do this

There was a note above about sticking it in the freezer. Do it. About 20 minutes, then bring a large plastic tub to your freezer and a chef knife or cleaver. Put it upside down in the tub. If it's moving, put it back in the freezer. Take your knife and plunge it point first above the little arrow on its belly and then tilt down to split through the head of the body. Dead. Rinse.

This is a picture from Discovery's tv show: (king crab belly) it illustrates the arrow on the belly that I'm talking about. Trying to dispatch them by splitting the same way you do a lobster is too difficult because their top shell is so thick. I've found sticking the point of the knife in there allows you to split open from underneath.

Cook however you please.

It's difficult, but splitting the legs and rubbing a compound butter of your choice and baking is good. Steam first for a few minutes if you like. There is some meat in the body ... from a king crab you'll get the same amount of body meat as from a Dungeness 1/4 the size, in my experience.

Don't boil it. That's just silly. Waste of energy and adds absolutely nothing to flavour the meat regardless of the aromatics you put in the water. Steam it if you want to kill it through cooking. A minute fraction of the energy required and just as fast to death.

But in my opinion, Dungeness taste better and are easier to deal with.

edited to add: Just noticed you're in Vancouver too. You must mean T&T. Let me know if you need another eater ;)

Edited by mtigges (log)
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Agreed that steaming is the ideal way...but for the home cook that would perhaps be even harder to accomplish than boiling - though you could add a mere couple of inches of water to a huge pot and it would be a virtual steamer right there.

Right now you can order King Crab cooked for about $13/lb at one of the top end Chinese restuarants here...or you can have it prepped four ways for about $25 per person. It might be worth it just to go to a restaurant. Consider this too: the ones going for that super-low price are often ones with missing or deformed limbs....so if you are not a big fan of the head meat(s), then the bang for the buck is lower that expected.

Here are some pics from T&T today (King at $9.68/lb):

gallery_38405_5763_237299.jpg

gallery_38405_5763_349875.jpg

gallery_38405_5763_97727.jpg

Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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I bought queen crabs (Opilio crabs) and they're a bit smaller than the king crabs. They have the same general structure and to eat them, basically you can start with the legs first then tackle the body. Or vise-versa. The thing is most of the meat are located in the legs, then the leg joints on the crab body. If you're lucky, you can get crab mustard in the innermost part of the crab. But usually that space is taken up by crab innards like the dead man's fingers and has no meat at all.

I would also advise with going about with steaming the crab as to boiling.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I still may pay $ for a good one and tackle it. It just looks like a fun project. The misses is all over it --she loves crab, and there's no harm in keeping her happy.

Maybe this weekend if I don't get bogged down with bike racing.

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Agreed that steaming is the ideal way...but for the home cook that would perhaps be even harder to accomplish than boiling - though you could add a mere couple of inches of water to a huge pot and it would be a virtual steamer right there.

That's all I meant, just an inch or two of water and throw in your prey.

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Whole live king crab is usually available during the season in Chicago Chinatown. I've dispatched many of them.

You don't need to freeze them as they are not as lively usually as the smaller crabs. You do need a large pot of at least 20 qts for an average king crab. You can steam or boil, it really doesn't matter. When cooked, remove and chill in ice water. Contrary to one Post, the body contains a substantial amount of meat.

You disassemble the body like any other crab except its larger. Pull off the top carapace and remove the gills and pick out all the white meat from all the openings. Legs are handled with scissors or any way you want but try to remove the leg meat in whole pieces(looks better).

They are expensive live but very very good!-Dick

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