Health: Crab, Dungeness
Species Name: Dungeness crab (Cancer magister). Also marketed as
San Francisco crab.
Geography: West coast from the Aleutians to Southern California.
Seasonality: Year-round for frozen or canned; live crab season is
November to February.
Appearance/Flavor: Whole crabs turn bright red when cooked. Mild,
slightly nutty-flavored and tender white meat.
Nutrition: (per 3.5 oz. raw): Cal. 86; Fat cal. 9; Total fat 1g;
Sat. fat 0.1g; Cholesterol 59mg; Sodium 295mg; Potassium 354mg; Protein
17.4g; Iron 0.4mg.
Buying/Handling/Storing: Live crabs should be active or move when
touched. Whole crabs should feel heavy for their size. Beware of
freezer burn on frozen sections. Cook live crabs within two days
of purchase. Refrigerate whole cooked crabs or meat at 32F for up
to 5 days. Commercial- or home-frozen at 0F or below up to 6 months.
Cooking Methods: Steam or boil live crabs about 6 minutes per lb.
Harvesting Method: Wire mesh traps.
Market Forms: Live, whole cooked, or clusters (leg sections attached
to a portion of the body). Picked meat (combination of leg and body
meat) is available fresh, frozen or canned. Two-lb. whole cooked
crabs usually come about 25 to a box; whole, frozen and glazed usually
come 12 to a 30-lb. box. Fresh and frozen, glazed sections are polybagged
and packed in 25, 50 or 70-lb. containers. Frozen meat available
in 5-lb. vacuum cans.