How to prepare Alaskan king crab

Alaskan King Crab

How to prepare Alaskan king crab

Let’s take a small detour on our journey of taste to take you to a magical place: Alaska. Its natural resources represent an inestimable wealth, so much so that they are protected by the State Constitution so that their use by man does not damage this masterpiece of environmental balance.

And it is in its waters, seas, rivers, and lakes, that this fascinating region of the world finds the highest expression of quality and excellence. Alaska is the country of fishing. Man has always found in the fish and products of the sea and rivers of Alaska an important source of sustenance, since the indigenous peoples dedicated themselves to this activity to feed themselves, up to our times, with the technological innovation of the fishing industry.

A Jewel Of The Sea

And it is precisely the fishery products from Alaska, fish, and shellfish in the first place, that have a huge demand in fish markets around the world. And not surprisingly: the Bering Sea and the Gulf of this extraordinary state are among the most productive, thanks to the rich nutrients that its cold and clean waters contain.

Among these products, a crustacean, in particular, stands out for its delicacy in the kitchen, so much so that it has earned the title of KING OF CRABS and has become one of the highest value products of its kind. The Alaskan King Crab (Paralithodes camtschatica) is the largest species among those captured in the waters of Alaska and its greatest production occurs in the Bering Sea and in the Aleutians, the archipelago of islands that extends from the Alaska peninsula to the coasts of Russia.

This species is a champion first of all in size: its weight averages around 3/5 kg but in some cases, it can reach up to 12!

This is because all the Royal Crabs must be delivered alive to the processing plants, where they are dissected and divided into bunches of legs and immediately cooked to preserve the freshness of its meat as much as possible. However, in recent years, many air shipments of live specimens have also become possible.

A real “king treatment” therefore, for this animal that is also majestic in appearance, with long legs characterized by thorny protuberances and a compact and imposing skeleton that make it a sort of slow-moving king of the abyss.


The secret of its success is kept in the paws: it’s very precious flesh, white and tender, with a naturally sweet taste. The flavor is the most delicate among that of the various species of crab and this allows you to serve the Alaskan King Crab in its natural state, perhaps accompanying it with melted butter in which to dip.

When you go to extract the pulp from its skeleton it is like opening a casket that holds the most precious treasures. It is a true star, the spearhead of modern gastronomy, which does not require any artifice to further embellish it. However, for those looking for something more complex, its uniqueness is also expressed in the ability to be extremely versatile: you can steam it, giving it an oriental touch, or roast it in the oven if you are more connected to the world of Western cuisine.

It then goes wonderfully with a great variety of spices and aromas, always used wisely, so as not to cover its natural flavor, but in search of its exaltation. Whether it’s the way it is prepared, cooked, or served, the key thing is to have respect for the ingredient and its characteristics! This is a golden rule that applies in general in the kitchen, even more so when dealing with products of this caliber.

The King Crab has very white and tender meat, which lends itself to being served natural, perfect if accompanied with melted butter.

Here are some guidelines on the preparation of the Alaskan King Crab, which will allow you to give a refined touch to your lunches and dinners.


It is urgent to make a small premise. First, before cooking or preparing Alaskan King Crab legs, they must be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight.

Most of the cooking techniques that we will illustrate also require a cooking time not exceeding 5-10 minutes. In truth, it is not a question of cooking in all respects, but more of heating: in fact, we must not forget that the crab has generally already been cooked as soon as it is caught, in the processes before being marketed, to preserve its freshness.

We must therefore consider that the product has undergone a pre-cooking so as not to risk overcooking it and making it so hard and dry. If, for example, we intend to add it to soups and stews, to enrich them with their particular taste, we must be careful to add it around the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Pay attention to the condiments too! Three drops of the spicy sauce in butter are enough to enhance the magnificent taste of fresh crab, but be careful not to overdo it with doses.

Cooking Alaskan King Crab legs

To make a delicious Alaskan King Crab even tastier, you must first choose how to cook it. There are several ways in which it is possible to prepare its paws and the choice depends above all on the type of taste you want to achieve.

  • Steamed: to cook steamed crab legs you need to put them in a steamer, which will be placed in a pot with boiling water. The pot must be filled with water about a third or in any case with a quantity of water which, once boiled, will not touch the legs, to allow cooking only through the steam released. To make this happen it will be necessary to cover the pot with a lid, let it cook for about 6 minutes, until they are completely heated, and give off a typical “cooked smell” that will indicate that they are ready to be eaten.
  • Boiled: it is undoubtedly the simplest preparation. Just fill a saucepan with water, bring it to a boil and add salt and seasonings to taste. At this point, immerse the legs in boiling water and reduce the heat to a medium level. Then let it simmer for about 6 minutes, drain, rinse and the legs will be immediately ready to be brought to the table.
  • Grilled: to grill the crab legs you must first brush them entirely with extra virgin olive oil, to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Before placing our legs, we wait until the grill is hot, then leave them for 5 minutes on one side and another 5 minutes on the other to allow even cooking before removing and serving them, perhaps with butter or a delicious sauce prepared previously.
  • Baked: the legs can also be cooked in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees. It would be better to arrange them in a low pan in a single layer, without overlapping them and putting a very thin layer of water. Once covered with aluminum foil, it will take about 8-10 minutes in the oven.

As you will have realized, cooking is really simple but above all quick!

It only takes a few minutes and a few easy operations, so if until now you haven’t dared to face this prestigious ingredient for fear that it would be complicated to handle and prepare, with the risk of ruining it, now you can change your mind and try your hand without fear.

Another advantage that could make you seriously consider the idea of including it in your diet is also its nutritional properties: Alaskan King Crab is a healthy food, one of the healthiest you could eat in the protein category.

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