When it comes to Alaska king crab, there is one thing you can count on, regardless of color – it will be delicious. However, while the shadow of the shell doesn’t change the mouth-watering factor, there are some crucial distinctions between the red and gold king crab that are helpful to know when planning your next crab party.
Let’s take a closer look at these two varieties to fully understand what sets them apart apart from just their color.
Red King Crab
When you imagine a bushel of king crabs, you are probably imagining red king crabs. This is because these popular beauties are the best known and widely consumed king crab varieties. While alive, their shells are rich burgundy, but when cooked they take on the bright red hue we commonly associate with crabs.
Of most common origin in shallow, warm waters, red king crabs abound in Bristol Bay and the Norton Sound. They tend to be bigger than golden king crabs and pack more meat in their famous legs. Its flavor is also often described as the richest of all king crab varieties.
Golden King Crab
Not forgetting, golden king crabs are generally smaller than their red counterparts and can be found throughout the Pacific Ocean. While they may not have as much filler as red king crabs, golden king crab legs are still a feast in their own right. Plus, since they’re more widely available and have a milder flavor, golden king crab legs tend to be slightly lower in price, making them perfect for the budget-minded crab lover.
Cooking Alaskan King Crab Legs
The bottom line? You really can’t go wrong with any of the varieties. While there are slight differences in color, size and flavor, you will surely be impressed by the size and sweet taste of both kings of the deep sea.
But once you have your king crab in hand, what is the best way to prepare your party? Fortunately, with such a dynamic flavor on its own, a simple brew does the trick. Here are a few options to choose from:
Grilled – The ideal method for hassle-free cooking, roasting king crab legs is great for flavor and even better for anyone on the plate. Simply brush the crab legs with oil and place them on a hot grill for about five minutes, turning them once in half. Serve with melted butter and plenty of napkins.
In the oven: Although it is not so easy to clean, king crab legs can also be prepared very well in the oven. This is the best option to add extra flavor during the cooking process. Arrange the legs in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet, then squeeze a lemon and grate the fresh garlic on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Serve with more lemon wedges and melted butter.
Steamed – A classic steamed option will bring out the natural flavor of crab legs. Simply place the crab legs in a steam basket and fill the bottom of your pot with water. Bring to a boil and cover, allowing the crab legs to cook for 5-6 minutes. And again, don’t forget the melted butter.