Dungeness crab legs

Dungeness Crab Legs

It’s the summer season and nothing says weekend evening dinners like seafood. This year, you’re all about going big or going home, and you have every intention of making your seafood themed meal a hit with your friends and family. As you look ahead to your weekend plans, consider wowing everyone with an Alaska Dungeness Crab legs dinner. With these helpful cleaning tricks and recipe ideas, you’ll not only have a lip-licking entrée but a jaw-dropping dinner party.

Cleaning your Alaska Dungeness Crab is your biggest obstacle as a first-timer; however, the process is simple. First, make sure your crab is properly thawed and if not, follow the thawing directions. Then, hold the base of the crab with one hand and tuck the thumb of your other hand under the back shell of the crab, lifting it off carefully. Once the back shell has been removed, take out the semi-liquid material, or viscera, as well as feathery gills from the body. Be sure to rinse the body under cool water to flush away any remaining material.

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Third, break the Alaska Dungeness Crab in half. Separate the legs one at a time; however, make sure there is still a decent amount of body still attached to each leg. Finally, crack the leg of each shell with a small meat mallet to expose the crabmeat. From there, the crabmeat can be pulled out with a fork or small pick.

There are a variety of dipping sauces that you can create to add extra flavor to your Alaska Dungeness Crab dinner. For example, a Mediterranean-inspired dip is a great addition to your summer seafood meal. To make the dip, you need:

If you fancy the taste of succulent crab and want to experience the adventure of catching some, then consider an excursion in Ketchikan. Ketchikan is the gateway to Alaska and is located on the Inside Passage. Ketchikan is an island located on Rivellagegedo and only accessible by air and sea. Ketchikan is also part of the Tongass National Rainforest. We get lots of rain! Just visit the rain gauge located downtown if you stop by for a visit. If you’re taking a cruise ship then this will be your first stop in Alaska.

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Dungeness crabbing is a treat indeed. It’s an opportunity to get out on the water, sightsee, and experience what catching crab is all about. Granted, this is not like the Deadliest Catch you may have seen on Discovery. There are several locations that are within range that allow cruise ship passengers to take advantage if they choose. A forty five minute ride to Bostwick Inlet is a popular fishing spot. It is protected from the weather for the most part. Upon arrival you can bait your crab pots. I usually use herring and a carcass from salmon, halibut, or a codfish. Crab can be caught in as little as half an hour. You can only be keep the males as it is illegal to keep females. The males have to be 6 1/2 inches across the carapace in order to harvest. Males molt during the summer and fall months. Dungeness crab harvested at times of molting have a softer shell and the meat doesn’t quite fill the shell. Some find it easier to pick the meat out of the shell and others complain that there is not enough meat in the shell. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you come across one.

Cooking the crab is quite easy. Some people add Old Bay or Johnny’s and some prefer adding their favorite beer. Once the water starts to boil I usually let it do so for about 10 minutes and call it good. Eat and enjoy, the fresher the better.

Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at

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