What’s Your Sign? Why the Crab, of Course

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Now that we’re hitting the beginning of summer and entering the late June/early July period, the Zodiac Sign of Cancer, the Crab upon us. What better time could there be for us to continue building upon our last post where we talked about our Fresh Crabs in CT by introducing two more of our crab varities? None, as far as we can see. With that, we’ll get started on getting you acquainted with our two yet-to-be-featured crab varieties, which are Jonah Crabs and Alaskan King Crabs.

Jonah Crabs are native to the Atlantic Ocean, with populations especially being concentrated between the shores of Nova Scotia and North Carolina.1 Due to their great similarity to the Dungeness Crab, they are often referred to as the “Dungeness Crab of the East”. As they are not a swimming crab, they usually make their homes along the rocky bottoms of coastal Atlantic waters and near the ocean floor further out into the sea. While they are commmercially fished, many of them are accidentally caught in lobster traps. In the early days, they were seen as an annoying distraction to the lobstermen, but now, as they continue to increase in popularity, they become a profitable bonus when pulled in with the lobster haul.

Unlike most crabs, which are prized for their leg meat, Jonah Crabs are especially valued for their claws. They possess an unusually large and very muscular claw. This gives them a powerful advantage in fighting, though few seem to realize it as they are not aggressive and are seen as being one of the “friendliest” crab breeds.1Well, as friendly as a crab can be anyway. Their claw meat is known to have a mild yet sweet taste with a soft and flaky texture. A particularly popular source of crab meat in the southern United States, Jonah Crab Claws are frequently used in many recipes, such as crab salad and crab cakes. It is the latter of those two culinary dishes for which we have provided a recipe from Food.com below:

Jonah Crab Cakes Recipe

Ingredients Needed: 1lb Jonah Crab Claw Meat, 1tbsp chopped parsley, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 chopped green onion, 1.25 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp white pepper, 1/4 tsp tobasco sauce, 1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce, 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup light cream, 3 tbsp breadcrumbs, 4 tbsp butter, 8 oz chopped haddock fillets2

1. Mix crabmeat, parsley, lemon juice, green onion, mustard, pepper, tobasco, and Worcestershire Sauce in a large bowl.

2. Mix the egg, halibut, and breadcrumbs. Stir them in with the crab mixture, and then refrigerate overnight.

3. Form the mixture into 10 cakes and refrigerate for at least one hour

4. Put half of the butter into a frying pan along with half of the cakes and cook until browned on both sides. Repeat with the 2nd half of the butter and crab cakes.

5. Put the crab cakes onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and into the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes2

The other crab variety that we’ll invite you to shake claws with today is the Alaskan King Crab. Also known as the Stone Crab4, the Alaskan King Crab is the largest and most heavily fished type of crab in all of the world. They are native to some of the coldest waters on earth, being native to the northern Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Fishing for Alaskan King Crab has been called the most dangerous job on Earth4, which was the inspiration behind the hit television show Deadliest Catch.

Much of the King Crab meat that is caught today is pulled in from the Alleutian Island Region and in the waters of the Bearing Sea, Bristol Bay, and Norton Sound. Originally, they were most frequently caught off of Kodiak Island, though overfishing in that area has led to a near cessation of commercial catching in that area. Alaskan King Crab has a deep reddish brown appearance when in the wild, but after cooking, it takes on the light red/orange color which it is most well known for. With huge, meaty legs, the Alaskan King Crab frequently weighs between 5 and 10 pounds and is widely considered to be one of the most commercially important seafood items in the whole world.3. Below, we have included a delicious recipe for Alaskan King Crab Royal from Crab-o-Licious that you can try at home any time.

Alaskan King Crab Royal Recipe

Ingredients: 12 oz Alaskan King Crab leg meat, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp grated onion, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, and 1/4 tsp crushed tarragon5

1. Cut the crab legs into 2-3 inch strips

2. Combine all other ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and then brush them over the crab legs.

3. Place the crab legs into a broiler pan, 3-5 inches heat for 3-4 minutes

4. Remove from broiler and serve after cooling5

Works Cited
1. Jonah Crab- The East Coast’s Answer to Dungeness Crab
LobsterGram
www.livelob.com/website/articles/jonah-crab.aspx

2. Chef Maria-Jane
Jonah Crab Cakes
Food.com May 16, 2009
www.food.com/recipe/jonah-crab-cakes-372218

3.Alaskan Crab
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_king_crab_fishing

4.Alaskan King Crab
Crab-o-Licious.com
www.crab-o-licious.com/alaskan-king-crab.html

5.Alaskan King Crab Royal
www.welovefish.com/kcrab1.htm

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