Alaska King Crab is one of the world’s true delicacies. The sweet and succulent leg meat is the favorite entrée of people worldwide. But half the fun of eating Alaska King Crab may be the process of getting to the meat once it’s on your plate.
Alaska King Crab should be eaten shortly after preparation, whether it was steamed, boiled, baked or grilled, while the meat is still warm and juicy. True, there are options for eating crab neat cold or reheated, but nothing compares to fresh, just-cooked crab.
At both the home or in a restaurant, Alaska King Crab legs and shoulders are the typical serving style, with the meat still in the shell. If cooked properly, the shell should be fairly soft and easy to open with a few minor tools. Nutcrackers, forks, crab crackers, kitchen shears or even seafood hammers are used to break apart the shell to access the meat. Even standard pliers will do the job if nothing else is available!
Breaking apart the crab legs at the hinges will separate cartilage from much of the meat and allow it to be easily removed once the shell is split open.
Alaska King Crab meat will be white, tender, juicy and delicious all on its own, but there are many options to enhance its flavor. The most common is to dip the meat into a small dish of warm butter. Drawn butter is the usual serving in most restaurants and can easily be made at home as well. Drawn butter is nothing more than the butterfat from standard, unsalted butter with the milk and water removed. One advantage to drawn butter is that lactose intolerant people can eat it safely because the milk solids have been removed.
Anyone can use the following directions to prepare drawn butter.
Use about 25% more unsalted butter than what you plan to serve.
Bring the butter to a boil under low heat in a stainless steel pan or double boiler, taking care not to burn it. Three layers will appear: watery foam on top, the butterfat in the middle and milk solids on the bottom.
Remove from the heat once most of the foam is gone and the butterfat is golden in color.
Skim off the foam, spoon out the drawn butter and discard the bottom solids.
For more pure drawn butter, strain it through a coffee filter.
A number of spices can be added to the crab, either while cooking, into the dipping sauce or as a stand-alone sauce. Garlic, tobacco, and Old Bay are common spices used with King Crab. The two recipes below are excellent ideas for those looking for something beyond the traditional dipping sauces.
Crab and Artichoke Dip
1 cup crabmeat
4 – 5 chopped artichoke hearts, soaked in olive oil for 24 hours
¼ cup onion
¼ cup minced garlic
1 T lemon juice
½ cup mayonnaise
3 oz low fat cream cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients except artichoke and crab until creamy, then mix in artichoke and crab gently. Place mixture into lightly sprayed baking dish and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on.
Bake at 375˚ for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with chips.
1 cup flour
1 ½ t chili powder
¼ t basil
2 T chopped garlic
Fresh, chopped spinach
1 pound crab meat
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix flour, chili powder, basil, garlic, salt and pepper and coat crab meat with mixture. Lightly fry crab in olive oil. Remove crab meat, set aside and save frying mixture. Lay out spinach on a platter, top with bite size pieces of grapefruit and orange. Layer the crab meat on the fruit. Layer the frying pan mixture on top of crab. Top with olive oil and juice from grapefruit and oranges.
Alaskan Snow Crab (and Dungeness) >>>