Of the many types of crab throughout the world, Dungeness has a special place for many people. What is Dungeness Crab? It is one of the most recognized types of crab by name and is enjoyed across the US both fresh and frozen. Before settling in to try your first meal, know what it should taste like and the best ways to prepare it to ensure you have a great experience.
What Makes Dungeness Crab Different?
Found along the western coast of North America, Dungeness crab is very popular throughout the Pacific Northwest and has been used by the top chefs in America. Known as a delicacy that is only available fresh when along the coast, and only during the right season running from November to June, many will never have the opportunity to try it. It grows up to 2 pounds and can be over 10 inches long. As with many seafood choices, it is best when fresh and can be held in tanks until needed.
The attraction to this particular crab is that it is largely made up of useable crab meat, with little weight going to the shell and other non-edible parts. With such a large ratio of what can be used it is a favorite with suppliers and restaurants both. For those who are environmentally focused, it is also preferred for its sustainability and its large numbers which make it easy to harvest without reducing the population to dangerous numbers.
When being gathered they are either picked up along the beach by hand, or they are baited into humane traps and then transported to holding tanks. Such methods allow them to be gathered without harm to the crabs themselves or the environment around them. Since they are caught in nets, some people think it is called dungeons crab. A funny play on words but these crabs have nothing to do with a dungeon and are actually called Dungeness crabs. The Dungeness crab name comes from its shallow sandy habitat inside Dugenenss Split, United States.
When considering what does crab meat taste like, it is important to remember that each type of crab will offer a slightly different taste. When trying a few different types of crabs, you are sure to find your favorite. Dungeness crab taste is often ranked highest on blind taste tests.
Prices of Dungeness Crab
Crab prices fluctuate based on many factors such as the yield for the year, any shortages or limitations from weather and other factors, as well as other costs such as shipping or transportation. As they carry more meat for their weight than other types of crab, they are more expensive than many other types of crab meat, but they are not the most expensive. This allows them to be easily enjoyed by a larger demographic and allows them to be used in other recipes as well as the traditional crab legs.
What Does Dungeness Crab Taste Like?
Dungeness crab flavor is bolder than most, which compliments its added protein at 19g of protein per 3oz portion. What does crab legs taste like? This is varied based upon the type of crab itself and will be specific to the crab legs selected. It is said to have a sweet taste, with a hint of a nut. It offers both soft and tender meat from the body as well as firmer meat from the crab legs. This makes it suitable for many different recipes and the flavor compliments many dishes well.
Popular Dungeness Crab Dishes
The availability of this crab as well as its pleasant taste makes it a key ingredient in many dishes. There are often questions about what are Dungeness crab legs and how to eat Dungeness crab body. While crab legs will almost certainly remain one of the most popular ways to consume it, several recipes have become wildly popular.
Crab legs are prepared in shell and presented with side dishes to make a complete meal. They are often served as part of a platter or as an appetizer at a high-end restaurant. This is a common way for people to be introduced to the experience and it offers the full natural flavor without distraction from other ingredients.
Others prefer their crab to be within a crab chowder. Included in this dish are vegetables, cream, and clam juice to complement the crab meat. It is frequently made with the meat from the body of the crab and is pureed or blended until the preferred consistency is reached.
Crab tortellini offers those who love pasta a way to enjoy their Dungeness crab without straying far from their favorite meal. Carb meat is wrapped in either fresh pasta cut to the desired shape, or in wonton wrappers for added variety, and can be enjoyed alone or with a few fresh vegetables. Severed with sauce and ideal for either appetizer or main course, this is something you are sure to sit down for and enjoy the full plate.
Areas that thrive on BBQ will cook their crab legs on the BBQ. They are wrapped in foil with butter and placed on the grill until fully good. These will often be topped with a butter garlic sauce; however, a coconut sauce may be used for a different flavor.
Perhaps one of the most popular ways to cook them is to put the whole crab into a crab boil. They are added to a seafood stock that is already stocked with fresh vegetables and may include variations of sausage as an added texture and taste. They all mesh well together and present a well-rounded meal that is cooked all in one pot. It is a tradition in many locations and can be cooked anywhere from the best stocked commercial kitchen to a backyard BBQ over a fire pit or on the grill.
For those who prefer a lighter approach, crab salad sees it added to a salad with tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and asparagus among other fresh ingredients. It offers a bit of spring or summer on a plate and can satisfy even the lightest of eaters. Often hot summer days call for a cool meal that is easy to eat, and this fits that need well. In San Francisco, the famous Dungeness crab salad is a Crab Louie. This salad is served with onions, carrots, egg, lettuce and Thousand Island dressing.
The taste of Dungeness crab brings a sweet and gentle taste to any meal, allowing for the other ingredients to share the spotlight, or it can be a standalone starter to any meal. With such a large variety of ways to present it, there is no limit to the ways in which it can be enjoyed. With large quantities available and sustainable fishing practices to ensure its survival well into the future, the popularity of this crab meat is secure. It is found in many restaurants across the Pacific Northwest and has become part of many iconic dishes.