Crab is not a delicacy that is new to the ears nor taste buds. There have been discoveries by archaeologists in the Chesapeake Bay area that suggests that crab was a very popular delicacy among the Native Americans and early colonists.
Currently, crab is very popular around the world, and China is known to be the largest exporter of crab. Though it might not be so plentiful in some areas, it is quite popular. The United States for instance is known to be the largest importer and consumer of crab meat because of demand.
Talking about snow crab and king crab, both species of crab are popular. Not for their body meat though, it is seldom eaten, but for the meat from their legs. No doubt eating crab can pose to be a bit of work to get to the meat.
Say it is one of those delicacies that will require you to use a cracking tool to enjoy it seamlessly. But, so long as it is this sweet succulent crab meat you are getting worked up about, it is worth the work.
There is no doubt that eating crab is something one can always look forward to because of its taste. But what do you do when you have different choices of this heavenly protein placed before you to choose from?
This is where the real difficulty arises, ordering your crab. Hence why you want to know which is better, between snow crab and king crab.
Choosing between snow crab and king crab is a hard choice, I must say. Both have their different unique tastes and flavors, but both crabs are delicious to eat even though they both come in their different shape, size, and texture.
It all boils down to what you prefer to eat at that moment. Take me for instance, if I have eaten snow crab before and I have to choose between snow crab and king crab, I choose the latter because I would want to try it out for the first time.
But about when you are familiar with both tastes? Difficult times I would say.
Some people might decide to go for snow crab because it seems to be easier to eat as it is less spiny and the meat easier to get from the shell. Well, that would not be a core base for preference as crabs are cooked and serve in a form that makes it easier to access the meat within them and eat.
So unless the chef didn’t do his or her job well enough, then this does not count. What would have been a clear thread between this is the cost. King crab is scarce when compared to snow crabs, and as such is much more expensive than snow crab.
But we talking taste and not price, so the ball is in your court now again. Food choice at the end of the day boils down to the consumer’s taste bud.
What is the difference between king crab and snow crab?
There is a lot of things that differentiate these two highly sought-after kinds of seafood. Aside from differences in their individually unique tastes and even appearance, king crab and snow crab varies from their average size.
Talking about body and leg sizes, even leg to body ratio, to their habitat, the two species differ. Also, both species differ in the season when they are available and their availability and price. Let us weigh out these differences which might come in handy if you ever consider purchasing crabs as it will help you to know what is available at what time and where to get them cheaper.
First thing first, you ever wondered why the names snow crab and king crab? Snow crab meat is red but when cooked turns to a lump of snowy white-colored meat, hence the name. well, as for king crab, the taste and texture of king crab and snow crab varies.
King crab especially the Alaskan king crab is known to have a very delicate tender texture that is relatable to the texture of lobster meat, accompanied with a sweet flavor. Whereas, snow crabs have fibrous texture meat that is firm and hence can be shredded into many pieces.
Snow crab meat has a flavor that is somewhere between sweet and a little salty. Aside from this, the snow crab exoskeleton on the leg is easily crackable even with the hands unlike the thick spiky exoskeleton of the king crab that has to be cracked open with a cracking tool to get to the tender meat.
Between king crabs and snow crabs, king crabs are the larger species as some can reach a size of up to 5 feet across. Though king crabs have shorter legs than snow crabs, their legs can weigh up to an average of 6 pounds out of the average body weight of about 20 pounds for the biggest of king crabs.
This big leg weight is mostly a result of its very tough to crack spiky shell which is obviously thick and thus heavier than that of snow crabs. The legs of snow crabs, though longer than that of king crabs, have a thinner exoskeleton and weigh lesser, between 2 – 4 pounds on average.
The season for king crab starts from around October, through November and December and ends in the early part of January. This is quite short a time frame compared to that of the snow crab.
Since there is very little time to find and harvest king crabs yearly to meet increasing demand, king crab is a little scarce and as such is more expensive, especially when out of season.
But snow crabs on the other hand reside mainly in deep cold waters of the northern seas of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans and their harvesting season starts in late fall down to early summer. Starting from when the ice breaks in April, to late October, and sometimes early November.
What are the benefits of eating crab?
Crabs aside being a very delicious seafood choice, has a lot of health benefits too. There has always been and there still is, but I guess you didn’t just notice or thought about it till now because you were too caught on the delicious meat!
But eating crabs provides more health benefits than just a treat for your taste buds. Crab meat offers health improvement in your bones, mental wellness, and even blood flow. Let’s look at them individually.
Crab is very high in protein, a high-quality unsaturated fat that is very digestible.
Crabs contain a lot of calcium and phosphorus in the meat. These two minerals are very important in growing healthy and stronger bones and teeth.
The phosphorous levels also help to improve the kidney function of the body, releasing toxins from the body faster and improve metabolic efficiency. And as such eating crabs comes with a detoxifying benefit too.
Crab meat also comes with a reasonable amount of copper, vitamin B2, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Which when combined is a great fuel for the body to initiate cognition and activities of the nervous system. It also reduces inflammation and plaque in your neural pathways.
Eating crabs also positively influence your heart. It helps to reduce blood pressure and lower strain because they contain omega-3 fatty acids which are great for balancing the levels of cholesterol in the body.
Also, it helps in regulating the anti-inflammatory activity in the body. This also prevents the development of atherosclerosis.
Aside from improving your mental health, crab meat contains selenium which according to studies is capable of having a direct neural link to stimulate the immune system of the body. This increases the protection of your body against chronic diseases and also act as an anti-oxidants
Crab meat also boosts blood circulation ensuring blood filled with oxygen gets properly circulated to the various parts. It contains copper which helps in the production of red blood cells by being able to absorb iron in the gut, which plays a key role in producing red blood cells.
Crab meat contains Vitamin B2. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is a water-soluble vitamin not stored within the body that helps in the production of steroids and red blood cells. It also increases maintenance of the skin, eyes, boosts normal growth, and the nervous system.
How to reheat crab legs
Now, regardless of which crab legs you decide to purchase between king crab and snow crab, you should know that both species of crabs and a lot of other crab species too are usually sold pre-cooked and frozen.
They are usually cooked on the fishing boat and frozen to preserve the freshness. This is done in some cases immediately upon landfall. If you went to the store to get frozen crab legs, there is a great possibility that they have been pre-cooked.
So what you are doing when cooking them is reheating them again. Overcooking crab legs is a bad idea as the meat becomes tough and rubbery.
To be on the safer side, it is very important to know this and just reheat your crab meat when you get home from the store. Steaming, grilling, and even oven baking are reliable methods for reheating crab meat. And here is how you do it.
Before reheating, if your crab legs are frozen, begin by defrosting them. You can do this overnight in the fridge to save you some waiting time since thawing in the fridge takes a bit of time. Defrosting first is very important as reheating crab legs that are frozen will make them lose their moisture and dry out.
It is best to avoid this kind of situation, but since mistakes can always happen, apply butter to the meat to add moisture and flavor back if you ever end up with a lump of dried-out crab meat.
You can reheat crab legs by baking, boiling, microwaving, or steaming, whichever is available and works for you. The goal is to ensure that there is an even transfer of heat to the inside of the crab.
In other words, how much time it takes to properly reheat the crab depends on the size of the crab legs. How big they are tells how long it is going to take to fully penetrate and heat them all the way through.
You can add beer to your reheating water to flavor the crab legs but never add salt when reheating. Crab legs are pre-cooked already and salt is used in the process.
When reheating crab legs either by baking, boiling, or steaming, always ensure to use a big enough pot or dish with space or surface area that is enough to accommodate the number of crab legs you are reheating without overcrowding.
This will ensure even distribution of heat and thus prevent overcooking of some of the crab legs. To reheat by baking, add water up to about one inch and cover with foil paper with holes in it. Bake for 5 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bigger crab legs should be baked for up to 8 minutes.
when boiling, add enough water to completely cover the crab legs in the pot. Boil, taking note of the size of the crab legs and time accordingly, say 5 minutes minimum. Steaming, on the other hand, requires you to use less amount of water, very little in fact. Steam for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size.
Can you eat canned crab meat without cooking it?
Before being canned and frozen, crab meat is boiled soonest after harvest and preserved to ensure its freshness is retained. So yes, you can eat canned crab meat without cooking it, it is cooked already. All you have to do is reheat it.
You should, however, note that this applies mainly to canned crab meat in stores as they are fully cooked. Crab meat canned at home should further be cooked for about 30 minutes to make it properly cooked before eating, just to be on the safe side.