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The Seafood Center
2021 Marine Drive, Suite 200
Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 338-4485

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The Seafood School | Duncan Law Seafood Consumer Center



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Seafood School | Astoria, Oregon | Health | Crab

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.