Header photo courtesy JodyO.Photos/Visit Anchorage
From the depths of the sea comes a meal fit for a king, queen, prince, princess and anyone who likes to treat themselves: Alaska King Crab. Sure, these big beasts look intimidating and you’ll have to often work for it, shell-cracking to get to the thick meat hidden within its legs. But all of that effort is instantly forgotten when you pull out a long length of juicy crab meat. Most prefer to dip their crab in the ever-present melted butter. But try a few bites without and you’ll discover that this king of the sea offers a rich, slightly sweet flavor that needs no complement.
Let the rich flavor of this succulent treat shine through by using a simple preparation. Believe it or not, there is a recipe that avoids the mess and time-consuming hassle of cracking crab at the table. This cleaner and faster serving method also has a side benefit – you can eat the meat before it gets cold!
Alaska King Crab Recipe
Step 1: Purchase flash-frozen, red or golden Alaska king crab legs and claws, as well as a couple of lemons and some salted butter.
Step 2: Gently thaw the crab in your refrigerator. Plan ahead; this can take a day or more.
Step 3: Use kitchen scissors to cut the shell lengthwise, so that the crab meat is resting on the half-shell. The legs have spines, so wear gloves! There will be tendons attached to the shell that need to be pulled out or cut. Place open crab legs on a baking sheet.
Step 4: Pre-heat oven to broil (preferably a low broil setting).
Step 5: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter per two crab legs. Use a spoon or basting brush to apply the melted butter to the crab meat. Slice the lemons into wedges and squeeze some lemon juice over the crab (save remaining wedges for later).
Step 6: Broil on the top rack for approximately 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to make sure does not get overcooked and rubbery. When the meat is opaque, pulls away from the shell, and has a somewhat textured “skin” on top, it is done.
Step 7: Meanwhile, melt butter in ramekins for dipping.
Step 8: Remove crab from oven. Serve immediately with melted butter and lemon wedges.