What You Need to Know about Preparing Dungeness Crab
Dungeness crab is the most common and one of the tastiest in the Western Pacific. It is found in the Pacific Northwest and is caught during the winter. It’s one of the best choices when buying crab since there are a lot of them and they are considered sustainable seafood. It isn’t caught in a trawler like other seafood and instead is caught in one-way door gates. This crab is a great choice for some traditional crab recipes, such as salads, dips, and crab cakes.
A Dungeness crab can weigh up to two pounds. If the shell is too small then it loses the old one and hardens a new one. This type of crab gives more meat per unit than others because about 25% of the weight is pure meat.
How to Cook It
A live crab can be boiled or steamed whole. All you have to do is place the crab in salted boiling water and cook for 15 minutes once the water returns to a boil. You then place the crab in ice water once it is done cooking. In order to steam, all you do is place the crab in a steaming basket and cook for about 20 minutes. A general rule is to cook for about seven to eight minutes per pound of crab.
What Does It Taste Like?
Dungeness crab is a favorite in many recipes because of the nutty, sweet, mild flavor. The body meat is juicy and tender and the leg meat has a bit more flavor and is firmer. The flavor also depends on the area where they were found in the wild and how you cook the crab. The salty and sweet flavor is common to all Dungeness crabs.
Recipes for Dungeness Crab
This meat can be used in many different crab recipes. You can use it in a traditional cioppino stew. It also makes for a great crab salad when you combine it with a citrus vinaigrette and fresh greens. Use the cooked meat in a crab salad and mix it with crunchy vegetables, seasoning, olive oil, and mayonnaise. Dungeness crab meat can be reheated in boiling water or by using a broiler before you add it to a dish. In order to avoid loss of flavor and a rubbery texture, cooked crab meat shouldn’t be recooked and should only be reheated. It can also be grilled and added to a spicy curry.
Buying Dungeness Crab
Many fish markets carry Dungeness crab but it’s always best to confirm. Purchasing live crab is better since it’s best to maintain the freshness and can be more versatile than pre-cooked crab. Dungeness crab is not as mean as blue crab when dealing with live ones.
Storing Dungeness Crab
Just like with other live crabs, you are able to keep it out of water for 24 hours as long as you are keeping it in a moist and cool environment. Once you cook it then you want to eat it within three days and keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container to prevent spoiling.