What is special about Dungeness crab?

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What is Special About the Dungeness Crab ?           

 – Dungeness crabs are some of the most sustainable seafood options

– They contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids

– They are low in cholesterol and saturated fats

– Your taste buds won’t know what hit them with these sweet, delicate flavors

– A small amount of meat goes a long way

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Dungeness crabs are harvested from the waters off of Oregon, California, and Washington. They are one of two commercially harvested crabs in the United States. The other is Jonah crab from Alaska. The name Dungeness comes from a small port town in northwest Washington where the first commercial fisherman sold their catch to San Francisco restaurants. The name stuck and has since been used for this delicious crab.

These crustaceans live on both coasts of North America and can be found off Oregon, California, and Washington! 4. They grow pretty big — usually up to about 7 pounds (although there have been caught that weighed over 10 pounds). 55. January 1-May 31 is peak season for these delicious treats but you might find them year-round at your local market or fishmonger if you’re lucky!

Dungeness crabs are the largest of commercially harvested crabs in the world. They can weigh more than ten pounds with their carapace, or shell, reaching six to eight inches across. Dungeness crabs are sold based on their size categories: jumbo (8-9), large (7-81/4) medium (6-7) and small (5-6). The Dungeness crab season begins in November and can last through May.

For more information about the commercial harvesting, processing and marketing of Dungeness crabs go to: [http://dnr.wa.gov/

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Can a Crab Suffer?

“Can crabs suffer?” is a question that may be difficult to answer considering the lack of knowledge concerning their cognitive abilities. Crabs do not have the same type of nervous system as humans and therefore cannot experience pain in the same way that we do. It is more likely that they react reflexively and instinctively to an external stimulus.

How to Cook Dungeness Crab?

How to Prepare Dungeness Crab

To eat the Dungeness crab, you’ll first need to remove all of its legs and claws. Twist off the claws at the joints where they connect with the body; break apart the larger pieces of shell with a mallet.

Remove the sand sac from the crab’s body, which is located on its underside near where one of its eyes used to be. Remove and discard the gills from the front of the crab’s head, as well as any spongy yellow matter under its mouth. Lastly, remove and discard the apron, a triangular flap of shell located on the underside of the crab.

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Dungeness Crab Recipes

How to Steam Dungeness Crab

Place 1/2 cup water in a wide, deep skillet or saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid and can accommodate your dungeness crabs standing upright with at least 1 inch headspace above each one. Bring the water to a boil. Place the crab in the skillet, cover and steam for 15 minutes over high heat.

Remove from the pan. When cool enough to handle, hold a crab in one hand and push down with your fingers (this will break apart the shells) then twist off each leg and claw. With kitchen shears or knife, cut away the mouthparts from the front of the crab’s head, and discard. Remove the apron on the underside of the crab and any spongy matter on its underside.

How to Grill Dungeness Crab

One method is to steam it first then use your favorite seafood seasoning blend or rub, yogurt or mayonnaise with herbs, and lemon juice to marinate the crab. Grill the seasoned crab over a medium-high fire for 8 minutes per side or until it’s hot throughout and browned on the outside.

Another method is to steam it first then brush with melted butter mixed with your favorite seafood seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Grill 3-4 inches above a medium fire for 7 minutes per side or until hot throughout and browned on the outside.

How to Roast Dungeness Crab

Preheat oven to 500°F with an oven rack in upper three-quarters of the oven. Place seasoned crab halves cut sides down onto baking sheet, leaving at least 1-inch between each one. Roast 10 minutes or until richly browned.

Alternatively, you can create a garlic butter mixture with butter, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin to brush over the crabs before baking. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F on an oiled baking sheet with the cut sides of the crabs facing up.

How to Broil Dungeness Crab

Brush seasoned crab halves with melted butter mixed with your favorite seafood seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin. Place on an oiled baking sheet or broiler pan 4-6 inches from heat. Broil for 10 minutes, turn crab over and broil until browned on the outside and hot throughout.  Dungeness crabs produce more meat per unit than any other crab because, unlike other crabs, approximately 25 percent of the crab’s weight is pure flesh.

Dungeness Crab Metacarcinus Magister

Only male crab is harvested for human food. The female crab must be thrown back to prevent it from breeding and beginning the cycle again. Crab species can live to be 40 years old. Dungie are prey to seals, sea lions, sea otters, octopuses, various species of fish, and people. They’re a common dish and the most commercially important crab in the Pacific Northwest and western states. When the crab finally does make it to the dinner table, it has been through a lot.

The Dungeness Spit

I live close to the Dungeness spit and it’s a long, narrow piece of land extending about 5 miles south from the town of Sequim. The spit is named after Dungeness crab but was formerly called Danger Spit because of its exposed location and its hazardous surf. It has been inhabited since at least 6,000 years ago by the Coast Salish Indians who lived there seasonally and harvested its abundant shellfish, fish and wildlife. The spit separates the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Dungeness Bay and is traversed by a stretch of State Highway 112 that runs along its top for much of the spit’s length.

I have seen live crab in the area, although I have only spotted all small crab. The summer months in the are beautiful. Live crabs can be found, although other crab than the ones we crave. The habitat in the area is prized and protect in the U.S. and British Columbia.

Dungeness Crab Recipes

I have worked in the Pacific Northwest for many years, and have used Dungeness crab in many recipes. The best way that I have been able to judge if the recipe is a good one is by how the people react. Let me know if you have tried any of my crab recipes.

North West Chefs
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