Wild Red King Crab, delicious, hard to catch, and highly sustainable. This much sort after product is one of the most desirable seafood in the world of gastronomy.
In this article, we take you through the step by step of cooking the perfect king crab to enjoy hot or cold.
Grading: King crab clusters are made up of three legs and one claw held together by the shoulder joint. Each whole king crab has a killer claw and feeder claw, the latter being roughly half the size as the killer claw. Both claws are succulent and tasty but do add up a dramatic difference to the weight of each cluster. They are very easy to cook and the meat is easily extracted including the shoulder joint that also contains some delicious white meat.
King crab is graded by weight and sold by weight increments as such 1XL, 2XL, 3XL etc. It is essential to point out that all raw clusters are ultra quick frozen then dipped into a tank of icy cold water that creates a protective frozen outer glaze around the shell to help preserve the tenderness of the raw meat inside. This does add to the weight by approximately 15%. A 2XL cluster weighs between 1kg - 1.3kg and should yield around 400g of white meat.
Preparation: From frozen it is very simple to remove single legs or the claw if you do not want to use all the crab at once.
Remove the crab from the packaging and Defrost on a plate or tray in the fridge overnight.
Boiling Method: As with shelled lobster whereby it is better to cook the claws and body separately, this also applies to the king crab.
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Fill a large saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. When boiling add a tablespoon of sea salt and reduce heat to medium.
Using sharp scissors cut the King Crab legs into two at the main joint. Remove the shoulder joint. Place all the crab pieces into the saucepan, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the crab in a colander and rinse with cold water.
When cool use sharp scissors to cut along one side of the shell and carefully remove the crab meat, taking care to keep it as intact as possible. Remove the meat from the shoulder joint and discard the shells.
Firstly remove any cartilage inside the leg meat by gently scoring one side of the meat, the cartilage can be pulled out very easily. Cut the leg meat into bite-size pieces. Place all the meat in a bowl in the fridge until ready to serve.
Steamed: Prepare the king crab as for the boiling method.
Cooking Time: 8 minutes
Place a large saucepan with approximately 5cm of water. Bring the water to the boil and place the king crab leg pieces in a colander and cover with a lid.
Grill/Bbq Method: Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
Cooking Time: 8-10 minute
Lightly brush the outside of the crab legs with olive oil
Place the crab legs on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes more until the meat is hot all the way through
Remove from the grill and cut open the underside of the crab legs (the white, smoother part, not the spiny, bright reddish-orange part) using kitchen shears and crack open the split shell with your fingers.
Oven Baked Method: Baking king crab legs is the preferred cooking method for those who want to capture the flavour of herbs and lemon in the cooking process. To bake crab legs, preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the crab legs in a shallow baking pan in single layers. Place hot water in the pan, about 1cm deep and add a few half cloves of garlic, some sliced lemon and fresh herbs like dill or parsley stalks. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and bake for eight to ten minutes.