All About Alaskan Crab: Types, Benefits and How to Prepare It

Alaska is famous for its delicious and prized crab species. The cold, nutrient-rich waters of the region support thriving crab populations. Here are the primary types of Alaskan crab:

1. Alaskan King Crab

Alaskan King Crab, also known as Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus), is highly sought after for its large size and succulent meat. It is known for its sweet and rich flavor, delicate texture, and bright red shell. Alaskan King Crab legs are typically harvested and enjoyed for their meaty and flavorful claws.

2. Alaskan Snow Crab

Alaskan Snow Crab, also called Opilio Crab (Chionoecetes opilio) or Tanner Crab, is another popular species in Alaska. It is smaller in size compared to King Crab but still highly regarded for its sweet and delicate meat. Snow Crab has a slightly more fibrous texture and is often enjoyed by cracking the shells and extracting the meat from the legs and body.

3. Alaskan Dungeness Crab

Alaskan Dungeness Crab (Metacarcinus magister) is known for its tender and flavorful meat. It has a slightly sweet, delicate flavor and a flaky texture. Dungeness Crab is often cooked by boiling or steaming the whole crab, and the meat is commonly used in dishes like crab cakes, salads, and pasta.

4. Alaskan Bairdi Crab

Alaskan Bairdi Crab, also known as Tanner Crab (Chionoecetes bairdi), is similar in appearance to Alaskan Snow Crab but with a slightly sweeter and more delicate flavor. The meat is often extracted from the legs and body and enjoyed in various dishes, such as crab bisques, crab salads, or simply served with melted butter.

These are the primary types of Alaskan crab that are commercially harvested and enjoyed for their exceptional flavor and meat quality. Each species offers its unique taste and culinary experience, making Alaskan crab a sought-after delicacy around the world. When purchasing Alaskan crab, it’s important to ensure its sustainability and support responsible fishing practices to maintain the health of the crab populations and the ecosystem.