Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blue King Crab Delivery

 We got our last king crab delivery of the year on December 4th, ending a very long season of processing which began the the first week of June.  Blue king crab is a smaller species of king crab, to my eye about the same size as brown.  The blue king is a fishery on the rebound with the total allowable catch growing every year.  Our boats reported catches a little better than last year, always a good sign.
None of the blue king was put up in home packs for local sale as it was all spoken for on the world market.  I couldn't detect much of a taste difference from the red and brown, it is all delicious, especially fresh caught.  Alas, my favorite is bairdi crab, so sweet and easy to eat, but the season is closed this year to allow the stocks to recover.
 You can see the bluish tint that gives the species its name.
A little culinary tip - if you are ever in a time crunch and wanting to transform a so-so frozen pizza to world class, about halfway through cooking a self-rising combination pizza, scatter a liberal portion of half-price mozzarella cheese and a pound of king crab meat.  Delicious . . . .


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Steve, question for you:

Is king crab contractually committed, right off the bat, primarily to Japan? Or, in other words, why is it that the lower 48 never seem to see the MASSIVE king crabs that appear to be hauled aboard the boats in Deadliest Catch?

The king crab I see in Fornicalia, for example, seem to be what you see in a large opilio. THAT'S how sad most king crabs are in my neck of the woods.

I mean, Lordy, if I could glom onto some of that HUGE crab I see thrown onto the tables -- holy moley!


Alaska Steve said...

I think, BZ, that maybe most folks in America are not willing to pay the price for the best. I know that we ship a lot of whole king crab to Japan, and I know they have to be absolutely perfect in every way, as they are presented as gifts. I have heard they sell for $300 apiece over there. Crab is going to be very, very expensive this year as record prices are being paid at the dock to the fishermen. The same #1 red king crab legs (#1 are cosmetically very clean, and weigh at least 900g per cluster) that I could sell you for $9.90/pound last year are $15.00 per pound this year. It would hurt my feelings if that same crab wasn't at least 30 to 40 dollars a pound by the time it hit retail in your neck of the woods. That is for the best of the best. You have to consider that the TAC (total allowable catch) for red king up here is only maybe 14 or 15 million pounds (whole crab) with a 63 or 64% recovery as just the legs are sold. That is not a lot of crab to go around. While I consider our number 1 red king to be pretty big legs, I have a friend that gave me some legs that were essentially the size of small baseball bats, so I guess its all relative! These small legs - are you sure they aren't brown king? It is marketed as "Golden King Crab".