What is Dungeness Crab? This mild, sustainable seafood is typically steamed or boiled. It can be found in all oceans and freshwater. Dungeness crab is readily available worldwide. Read on to learn more about this seafood.
It is mild seafood.
The Dungeness crab is an edible crustacean found in the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. This crab is mildly flavored, and its meat is tender. The legs are firmer than the body, but both have the same overall flavor. Clusters of the heart are edible, containing several legs and a few bites of body meat. Its mild flavor is best enjoyed in small quantities, but it is often used as an ingredient in more elaborate dishes.
Dungeness crab is readily available in the best crab restaurant in San Francisco from November through February. Crabs can be cooked with flavors, including lemon, garlic, and other aromatics. The meat can be used the same way as lobster in seafood stews, roll-style crab sandwiches, or classic bisques. Wild Alaskan sushi rolls can also be made from Dungeness crab meat.
It is steamed or boiled.
Buying the whole Dungeness crab from the fishmonger is one of the best ways to enjoy the delicious meat of this feisty crustacean. You can also steam the crab yourself at home. Dungeness crab is best steamed within eight hours of purchase. When steaming the crab, keep the shells on ice in the refrigerator. To steam the crab, place them in a steamer basket in the stockpot over high heat. Place the crab in the steamer basket and cover it with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Steam the crab for about 12 minutes or until the shell is soft and pliable. Remove the mandibles and feathery lungs before serving. Once the crab is cool enough to handle, it is ready to be done.
It is found in all oceans and freshwater.
A large, hard shell covers the body of the Dungeness crab. The crab molts once a year, forming a new shell. Its four pairs of legs are clawed at the front, known as chelipeds. Clawed crabs use their front legs to tear up their prey. Its head and small, pointed abdomen make it look rather unappealing, but the crab’s distinctive features help differentiate it from other types of crab.
Adult Dungeness crabs feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates. They are usually found in sandy, muddy habitats and are acclimatized to living on woody debris and eelgrass. Although solitary, they can form large groups during the molting season. Male Dungeness crabs search for females likely to molt soon and stay in the pre-mating embrace until the female molts. The female crabs then deposit their spermatophores on the male crabs’ shells. The crabs protect the female until they are ready to molt, typically at around two years old.
It is sustainable seafood.
Consumers often wonder how to tell if a seafood product is sustainable. Fortunately, it’s easy to do your part to help keep our oceans clean and our world healthy. Seafood watch groups educate consumers about sustainable seafood and develop the National Consumer Guide. The guide contains the best choices, suitable substitutes, and avoiding choices. However, the focus is based on research and may not reflect current sustainability conditions. It’s also important to look at other sources to be sure.
As a sustainable seafood option, Dungeness crabs are considered an excellent choice. Because they’re so large, they weigh almost two pounds after molting. This high meat-to-shell ratio makes Dungeness crab a perfect choice for traditional crab recipes.
It is caught commercially.
A high toxin level has delayed the start of the commercial Dungeness crab season in recent years. The toxin, domoic acid, accumulates in crabs and other marine creatures and is toxic to humans. This toxin is caused by marine plankton called Pseudo-Nitzsche, which thrives in warm water. In 2015, an intense marine heatwave prompted an abundance of domoic acid-producing plankton, which resulted in widespread economic losses across state fisheries.
The Dungeness crab lives in nearshore waters and can be found in the waters off Alaska and the California coast, as far south as Magdalena Bay in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Its name is derived from the town of Dungeness, Washington, where the first commercial harvests of the crab began. Commercial harvesting has been conducted in the area since the late 1800s. Commercial harvesters use pots resembling hockey pucks, weighing as much as 150 pounds.
It is harvested commercially.
The Dungeness crab is prized seafood in the Northwest but is also widely used for other purposes. Besides being delicious and nutrient-rich, Dungeness crabs can be found in canned, dried, and frozen forms. They can also be processed into nutritional supplements, cat food, and mink food. They are also used in a variety of recipes for flavorings. Commercial fishing boats harvest Dungeness crab from the waters around Alaska.
The commercial harvest of Dungeness crabs begins on December 1 each year and ends on August 14 each year. Fishing regulations protect the reproductive capacity of the crab. Males reach sexual maturity early in the crab’s life and begin reproducing before the fishing season begins, but females can survive for up to a year without spawning. This is why anglers must return female Dungeness crabs to the water.