Blue Crab King – A Delectable Seafood Delicacy
The spiky, roe-colored shells of blue crab king are a sight to behold, but their flavor is what makes this seafood delicacy stand out. Rich, sweet and slightly briny, king crab is a staple ingredient in many coastal dishes.
We used BGI short reads and PacBio long reads to generate a high-quality reference genome for the blue king crab. Genome-wide gene family analysis identified expansions in genes involved in development-related signalling pathways, steroid and thyroid hormone synthesis, and inflammatory regulation.
Blue crabs are a unique crustacean species that inhabit the bottom of icy North Pacific waters. They reside in rocky and muddy seabeds, feeding on dead organic matter and living invertebrates.
Their distinctive body shape and iconic blue claws make them stand out among other crab species. Blue crabs are rich in micronutrients including vitamin B12 and minerals like selenium, zinc, and copper.
Taste & Texture
Blue crab has a delicate and sweet flavor, offering a buttery taste and tender texture. It pairs well with a variety of culinary preparations and can be enjoyed in dishes such as crab cakes, crab bisque, or even crab deviled eggs.
King crab has a rich and robust flavor, making it a showstopper on any seafood platter. Its succulent meat is most often paired with melted butter, resulting in a decadent culinary experience.
Size & Appearance
While blue crabs are smaller than king crab, their sweet and delicate meat makes them a favorite among seafood lovers. They can reach up to 9 inches in width when fully grown, with males (called jimmies) generally larger than females (or sooks).
Blue crabs have a folded surface covering their abdomens that indicates their age and sex. Mature male aprons are often t-shaped and resemble the Washington Monument, while mature female aprons are more rounded and resemble the United States Capitol building.
A 3oz portion of crab has 85 calories, 1.5g fat and no carbohydrates, plus 17g protein. It also contains Vitamin B12, Selenium and Zinc.
Crab is a good source of iodine, which helps prevent goiter and hypothyroidism. It’s also rich in Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium. Crabs contain sodium (237mg per serving), so be mindful about how much you consume if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure.
Harvesting & Sustainability
As a delectable crustacean, blue crab holds a special place in the hearts of seafood lovers. However, the species faces challenges with overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.
Sustainable fishing methods, like using escape rings and modifying trap designs, can help minimize bycatch and protect the overall marine ecosystem. Additionally, opting for locally sourced king crabs can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation.
Availability & Cost
Blue crab king is a delectable seafood option for seafood enthusiasts with discerning palates. Its unique taste and colossal size make it a luxurious treat worth the price tag for special occasions.
However, if you’re looking for an affordable alternative that offers similar quality and flavor, other types of crab are available.
Cooking & Preparation
Blue crabs offer a unique and delightful flavor that seafood lovers can’t get enough of. Their meat is succulent and has a naturally sweet taste that’s enhanced by cooking.
Cooking live blue king crabs is simple and easy. Use long metal tongs and gently lower the crabs into a pot of boiling water. Be sure to protect your hands with gloves and line the table with newspaper before handling crabs.
Culinary Uses & Pairings
Blue crab’s delicate, sweet meat pairs well with a variety of ingredients and cooking techniques. Whether in savory dishes like crab cakes and soups or in appetizers such as crab dip, it’s a staple ingredient for many seafood lovers.
The rich flavor of king crab also complements creamy ingredients, like mayonnaise and aioli. These pairings add a luxurious element to crab dishes, creating a satisfying and decadent experience.
Storage & Shelf Life
The sweet, delicate meat of blue crabs offers a culinary delight. Although these crustaceans are smaller than king crabs, their unique flavor and texture make them a popular ingredient.
Live blue crabs have a short shelf life and must be cooked the day they’re purchased. They can be stored in a bucket with wet newspaper or seaweed, explains Crabbing Hub. Pasteurized crab has a long shelf life, but it should be refrigerated after opening.
Allergies & Safety
Allergy to crustaceans, especially crabs, is common. Many workers in crab processing plants report respiratory symptoms.
Protein identification showed strong IgE binding to tropomyosin, arginine kinase, sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein and hemocyanin in king crab meat, intestine and shell extracts. These proteins have been identified as potential allergens in ingestion induced seafood allergies. IgE binding to enolase was also present in king crab intestine and shell extracts.