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seafood encyclopedia

Alaskan Blue King Crab


  • Scientific Name: Paralithodes platypus
  • US Market Name(s): King Crab
  • Canada Market Name(s): King Crab

Culinary Profile

King Crab has a rich and sweet flavour. The body meat has a flakey texture - while the leg meat is somewhat stringy. When cooked - the shell of the Blue King Crab turns bright orange.


There are around 40 species of King Crab distributed around the world. Of these - three species are caught commercially in Alaska - including the Golden King Crab, Blue King Crab and Red King Crab. Unlike other Crab species - King Crab have only 3 pairs of legs and each claw is specialized - they have a small “feeder” claw for handling food - and a larger “killer” claw for crushing prey. Blue King Crab have a brownish coloured shell that is streaked with blue highlights and enormously large claws. Despite these characteristics - they are often mistaken - or mislabeled - as Red King Crab in the marketplace.


Blue King Crab reside in the North Pacific Ocean – ranging from Southeastern Alaska to Japan.

Fishing Season

Sustainability Status

Some King Crab populations are low - while others are considered healthy. Alaskan fisheries are well-managed and depleted populations are expected to recover over time. King Crab from Russia are ranked on the “avoid” list by various reputable environmental organizations.

Fishy Fact: Alaska King Crab fishing is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in North America. Every year, hundreds of fishermen endure extreme weather conditions and harsh work environments with hopes of catching this desirable seafood.


Available as Value Added, Commodity, Custom Packing.