How to boil a whole red king crab

The most exciting part of eating red king crabs is the filling meat. Usually when you see red king crab in a supermarket it’s frozen and usually you only get the legs and claws. There’s a lot of tasty meat inside of the carapace though so if you could find a whole red king crab, we recommend giving it a go!

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In European countries, maybe people don’t often eat the meat inside of the carapace but many Japanese people are happy to eat the whole crab. So If you have a Japanese husband or wife, they’d probably be drooling over a whole crab at the dinner table.

In recent years, freezing and aquaculture technologies have developed, making it possible to eat red king crab all year around. Whilst it’s not uncommon for two to three year-old frozen red king crabs to be on the market after 1 year or more the taste will gradually begin to deteriorate. Also, because the crabs are very sensitive, they’re only at their best for 1 to 2 days after being caught. This is why most companies that deal with crabs prefer to boil them immediately and then sell them. 

It’s pretty rare to get raw red king crab, and even if it wasn’t, most people probably don’t have a pan big enough to cook one. But, if you do have a huge pan sitting around waiting to be used, and you can find a fresh red king crab, the taste is totally worth the effort.

easy to cook


The key to boiling a red king crab is the salt level of the water. The salt content of the boiling water should be equal to or just slightly less than sea water. Also, boiling time is dependent on the weight and sex of the crab.

If you don’t have a pan big enough to put the whole crab in, you can cut off the legs and claws and boil them separately. In that case, the boiling time should be 10-15 minutes for the legs and claws and 20-25 minutes for the carapace.


The salinity of the boiling water:

3 tbsp of salt (30-40g) per litre


■ Boiling time: 

1kg~1.5kg = 30~35 minutes   

1.5kg~2.5kg = 35~45 minutes  

2.5kg~3.0kg = 45~55 minutes


■ 2.9kg female red king crab

■ 7 litres of water

■ 180g salt


1. Boil the water in a huge pan

This time we cooked 2.9kg of female red king crab. So we needed 7 litres of water to cover it.

2. Add salt into the water

You should put 210g of salt per 7 litres of water, but I wanted to enjoy the taste of the crab as it is, so I only added 180g of salt for 7 litres of water.

3. Put the red king crab into the water

Push the carapace down into the water.

Cook until the water boils again.

4. put the lid on and wait depending on the weight of the crab

Put the lid on, reduce to a medium to low heat and cook for 55 minutes. If you don't have a lid, use tin foil instead.  

5. Drain water and rinse it quickly in cold water.

Just let the crab cool slightly. It doesn't have to cool down completely.

6. Enjoy the delicious meaty crab!

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