If I ever come face to face with a live Alaskan King crab, I think I’d totally freak. Can you imagine how ginormous those creatures are? Also if you’ve seen an episode of the Deadliest Catch, you’d know how dangerous Alaskan crab fishing can be. So for the longest time, I avoided going near those large, hairy legs sticking out in a pile at the fish market. No thanks to my overactive imagination.
However, a friend visited recently and we took him to my favourite South Melbourne market and he was immediately drawn to the aforementioned large, hairy legs. So we bought a bunch of them, along with a dozen freshly shucked oysters and had a rather interesting but totally delicious and boozy lunch. Go Hendricks G&T!
I didn’t know what to do with the legs. Crack them like I normally would with crab and then cook them with a variety of aromatics in my typical I-can’t-help-it-I’m-Asian-style or remove the flesh and make other delicious stuff out of them reminiscent of a dish out of the barefoot contessa’s kitchen? Just to be sure I do not ruin some pretty expensive seafood, I checked with my trusty know-it-all friend, Google.
Apparently these giant crabs are all cooked by the time they even reach the wholesale markets. Due to their size, there is no way the crabs will keep fresh, even in ice, for a long period of time, so they are cooked and snap frozen once they reach the harbour. Essentially, when you’re cooking king crabs, you’re simply reheating.
To get the best flavour of the crab, I simply reheated the legs in a steamer for about 5 minutes. Serve with melted butter, lemon wedges and a pair of kitchen shears. The shell is surprising soft and easy to cut through with scissors. Get your fingers dirty, it’s going to be finger-lickin’ good.