Please welcome Hank Shaw as he serves up some Alaskan king crab! ~Elise
Certainly one of my early reminiscences as a child was consuming piles of Alaskan king crab legs in eating places. Dipped in plenty of melted butter and served with a lemon wedge I hardly ever used, it was tons of enjoyable pulling massive chunks of wealthy, luscious crab meat from these monumental legs.
I grew up in New Jersey, the place the a lot smaller blue crab reigns supreme, so the thought of gigantic crabs as much as six toes lengthy wandering round on the underside of the ocean was each unique and barely scary. Consuming these crabs was like touring to a unique world.
As I later realized, it was a unique world again then. Our household was not significantly rich, and I by no means keep in mind king crab even being in the identical class as Maine lobster. King crab was what you bought when lobster was too costly.
In the event you have a look at the historical past of the Alaskan king crab fishery, you’ll know why. At exactly the identical time I used to be having fun with mountains of king crab, the fishery was reaching the high-water mark of unsustainability. In 1981, fishermen hauled up 130 million kilos of kings. Two years later, the fishery collapsed.
It took years, however crab shares did recuperate. Since then, king crab has been fished sustainably all through Alaska. And whereas it is going to by no means be cheap once more, it’s nonetheless one of many world’s nice luxurious meals.
Wealthy, comfortable and briny, king crab is reminiscent extra of lobster than of crab. The meat can be simple to extract and fills the shells, which provides you a great quantity of meat per pound — not like most different crabs.
King crab is greatest served merely. To do an excessive amount of to it could be like stuffing caviar right into a burrito. Steam it, grill it and even microwave it, after which select a help participant and luxuriate in. The basic is, was and at all times will probably be melted butter and lemon. It’s a basic for a cause.
As a client, you want to remember two issues: First, be sure to purchase American crab. There may be a number of cheap Russian king crab in the marketplace, and the rationale it’s so low cost is as a result of the Russians are destroying their fishery for a fast buck. American fishermen work underneath strict guidelines of sustainability, which is why U.S. crab is dearer. We must always reward them for taking part in truthful.
The second factor you should keep in mind is that nearly all king crab is pre-cooked. It needs to be, to protect freshness. Alaskan king crab is cooked and blast frozen proper within the harbor. If they didn’t, the enormous crabs would die and decay inside hours. Which means that as a prepare dinner, you’re actually reheating king crab, not really cooking it. So be mild. I desire to steam it for five minutes and name it a day. King crab actually wants nothing else.