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Crab - 101

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Tim OL

Crab - 101

by Tim OL » Tue May 11, 2010 3:57 pm

I have been watching some of the TV shows where they cover the activities of various ships catching king crabs in the Bering sea and other areas. These crabs are HUGE... If memory serves me well the ship gets about 40 cents a lb for it's efforts.

Today, for the first time I bought a small, maybe 8 inch piece, of one of the legs or arms or whatever of the crab from my local supermarket. The price was 19 a lb... that is a stunning markup.

What am I buying anyway... when I crack the shell open is this the same as lump crab meat. The guy at the supermarket didn't have a clue.

Perhaps I should retire at a sea shore someplace and catch my own fish. More and more these days, in every which way, I feel that I am just a piece of citizen existing solely for the taxation or markup that every corporation or government group can exploit for their own generally useless and mislead thought processes.

Tim
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Crab - 101

by Daniel Rogov » Tue May 11, 2010 5:31 pm

Tim, Hi.....

Known in English as "Alaskan King Crabs", these not especially physically attractive creatures weigh up to 11 kilos and can be as large as 2 meters from tip to tip. Despite their awesome appearance, the meat of the legs of these creatures has been considered an elegant and luxurious dish in North America and Europe for many years. Because the flavor of the meat deteriorates rapidly once the crab is out of its natural habitat, it is virtually impossible to ship the crabs fresh. In reality, male crabs are caught, kept alive on ships and then brought to Alaskan ports where they are quickly killed, cleaned, cooked and frozen.

The frozen legs, considered the only edible part of this monster, are then shipped all over the world. In addition to their delicate, sweet flavor and firm texture, Alaskan King Crab legs also offer the advantage of being far easier to eat than lobster. Even though the meat can be served with a variety of sauces, with salads, and in soups, the most traditional way, and my own favorite, is to serve it with nothing more than melted clarified butter and lemon. Other than the meat of the legs, the rest of the poor King Crab makes it way primarily into cat food.

As to comparing the leg meat of the King Crab to lump crabmeat, not a good comparison, for even though the crablike flavor is there the texture is more like that of fine lobster meat.

One hint….avoid overcooking. Although that makes it easier to remove the meat from the shell, overcooking also robs the meat of much of its flavor.
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Tim OL

Re: Crab - 101

by Tim OL » Wed May 12, 2010 2:16 pm

It was delicious !!!

I steamed it for a bit then into a little butter with a drop of hot sauce. Although I found cooking instructions on the internet I did not find a suggestion as to the best method of cracking the shell. Not very much meat in the small piece I bought so its back to the store tomorrow for a full leg to try again.

Tim
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Daniel Rogov

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Re: Crab - 101

by Daniel Rogov » Wed May 12, 2010 2:32 pm

Tim, Hi...

Best bet for cracking the shell of King Crab legs is either a lobster cracker or, if not available, an old fashioned nut cracker. And, if all else fails and such crackers are not available, there is no shame when serving large portions to covering the entire table generously with a thick basis of newspapers and using a wood mallet. In fact, such mallets are provided at some of the very best seafood restaurants throughout Europe.

Best
Rogov
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Jenise

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Re: Crab - 101

by Jenise » Thu May 13, 2010 6:49 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:Tim, Hi...

Best bet for cracking the shell of King Crab legs is either a lobster cracker or, if not available, an old fashioned nut cracker. And, if all else fails and such crackers are not available, there is no shame when serving large portions to covering the entire table generously with a thick basis of newspapers and using a wood mallet. In fact, such mallets are provided at some of the very best seafood restaurants throughout Europe.

Best
Rogov


Some advice from a real Alaskan who has done this many, many times? A nutcracker is useful, in fact neccessary, for the claws, but it doesn't in fact work well on the relatively thin and pliable shells (compared to a Dungeness, say). What you need for those is a pair of scissors. Break the legs into the obvious segments, then just cut along the length of each segment until you can hold the shell open with one hand and remove the entirety of the meat with the other.

And no, Tim, definitely not "lump crab meat" which really just refers to the body meat sans shell of a different type of crab.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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