A sweet and gentle taste, Dungeness crab can be served as an elevated appetizer, a main course, or alongside a filet mignon for a surf and turf feast.
Tender and Succulent
Dungeness crab is tender and succulent with a buttery texture that complements any dish. It is a key ingredient in classic dishes like cioppino and can be used to create simple, fresh salads or even dips. Its gentle taste lets other ingredients shine in your dish or serve as a show-stopping centerpiece with tangy cocktail sauce.
Whether you prefer to boil, sauté, or steam your crab, adding this delicious protein to any recipe is easy. When preparing seafood, always look for the label that indicates the crab was sustainably harvested. Also, remember that it is important to buy live crabs and avoid those that look listless or dead; this could indicate they are sick and should be avoided.
The San Francisco Dungeness crab is a highly sought-after delicacy in season. This unique delicacy was considered a pest in the fishing community because it would snag and break fishermen’s nets. Still, the Italian immigrants who made their homes in San Francisco in the 1800s discovered its incredible taste and brought this savory dish into the limelight. It has been a tradition since and is now an integral part of the Fisherman’s Wharf area.
Sweet and Juicy
The flavor of Dungeness crab is a true seafood delicacy. The meat is sweet, buttery, and delicately savory. Some even describe it as tasting of the sea. This flavor is due to the crab’s habitat and diet. It is also what makes it unique among other crab species.
It’s no wonder chefs and seafood lovers are drawn to this particular crab. Whether you serve it as a main course or appetizer, it will surely wow your guests. But before you dive into this shellfish, it is important to cook it correctly. This ensures that the meat is tender and not overcooked.
Luckily, Dungeness crabs are easy to cook and can be prepared in many ways. You can steam, boil, bake, or even grill them. And, of course, you can eat them fresh out of the shell or use their meat in other dishes such as crab cakes or soups.
While the debate over which type of crab is better — snow or Dungeness — is long, the most important factor is your preference. If you prefer a subtle, sweet flavor, the snow crab may be for you. However, the Dungeness crab is the way to go if you enjoy a robust and bold seafood taste.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Dungeness crab has some of the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids of all seafood, which can help reduce triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. This sea creature is also rich in vitamin B12, folate, and iron. These nutrients improve circulation, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and prevent anemia by promoting healthy red blood cell production.
Unsurprisingly, chefs and seafood connoisseurs prize this Pacific Northwest seafood delicacy for its subtle sweetness and delicate texture. These crustaceans can be cooked in various ways, including boiled, steamed, and grilled, but they are particularly well-suited to dipping sauces and salads.
When preparing fresh Dungeness crab, limit the use of heavy spices and sauces that can mask its naturally sweet flavor. Instead, add it to a soup, salad, or pasta dish and reheat it just enough to warm the crab meat.
During the winter and early spring, you can find live Dungeness crabs at your local grocery store or seafood market. Many seafood purveyors offer nationwide shipping if you’re still looking for them in your area. When you’re purchasing fresh crab, look for lively-looking specimens that are active and move about easily.
Low in Calories
A 3-ounce serving of cooked Dungeness crab contains just over 100 calories, most of which are from protein. This makes crab a great choice for those looking to add more seafood to their diet but are concerned about calories and fat. Just limit the amount of butter or cream sauces you use and keep your portion sizes small.
Aside from its taste and texture, crab is rich in many vitamins and minerals that support good health. For example, the omega-3 fatty acids in crabs can lower triglycerides and blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and enhance cognitive function. It also contains B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B12, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Additionally, crab is rich in vitamin D and selenium, which helps protect against cancer, maintain healthy skin, and regulate metabolism.
The fresh, succulent meat of a Dungeness crab is delicious on its own or seasoned with various spices and sauces. The tangy, salty flavor of the meat pairs well with a wide array of flavors and dishes. Try pairing steamed crab with a garlic herb butter sauce, dill dipping sauce, or various versions of a spicy aioli. It’s also a perfect topping for a salad or an ingredient in a crab cake, soup, or a Mediterranean crab bowl.