King Crab, Dungeness Crab, Blue Crab and More

A delicacy and special treat for many, crab is one crustacean that most everyone has tried at least once. But, there are many types of crab and not all are created equal. All species of crab are an excellent source of protein and so long as you don’t dunk your crab in too much butter, this low-calorie, low-fat seafood is a healthy and delicious choice for most everyone’s diet. But, omega 3s are nonexistent in the species so be sure to incorporate fin fish into your diet too because we all know omega 3s are like a superpower when it comes to defending your body against heart disease and other ailments. The most common types of crab are: Dungeness, snow, blue, and king.


Dungeness crab are a West Coast staple and are sold live up and down the coastline—growing up, these are the type of crab we caught as often as we could get out on the boat. Sometimes you can get whole Dungeness at CostCo, so if you get a chance to buy one (or two) do so. They’re delicious.

Snow crab are found in the Bering Sea and are readily available in the frozen section of most supermarkets—just be sure to look for the blue fish seal from the Marine Stewardship Council before purchasing.

Blue crab are commonly seen in restaurants, sometimes as hard shells, sometimes as soft shells. A soft shell blue crab is one that’s been harvested before molting, hence the softness. Lots of restaurants and pubs fry them and serve them, shell included, in a sandwich. Admittedly, I‘m not a fan … but growing up on the West Coast, this simply wasn’t the type of crab we ate.

Stone crab are caught in south Atlantic and warm Gulf waters. They’re a highly regulated species as legally only the claws can be harvested. Fishermen remove the front two claws, then return the crabs to the water where they regenerate. I’m not a fan of the practice, but from what I’ve been told, it doesn’t harm the crab.

King crab have six legs, plus one big killer claw and one smaller feeder claw—other species have 10 appendages

King crab are probably the most sought after, thanks in part to their flavor, but also to the huge success of the TV show, Deadliest Catch. Caught in the Bering Sea, this cold-water species can have a leg span of up to six feet—so unlike many smaller crab species, you don’t need many legs to fill up!

How to Cook Crab
I’m a big fan of Dungeness crab, but I also love king. They are distinctively different, and I encourage everyone to try both if given the opportunity. When we cook the legs at home, we steam them: put water in a cookie sheet, cover it with a rack on top and place crab legs on the rack. Place in hot oven and let steam for about 20 minutes. Be careful taking it out as the water is boiling. Serve with a little bit of drawn butter and a smile. Enjoy!  Features image credit: <a style=”color: #808080; text-decoration: underline” href=”http://Frank Mayne [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons“>Frank Mayne

Coming up NEXT on the blog … a little bit more on crab and a visit to one of the world’s premier spa destinations. Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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