King Crab has a rich and sweet flavour. The body meat has a flakey texture - while the leg meat is somewhat stringy. Red King Crab are considered the tastiest of the three Alaskan species. When cooked - the shell of Red King Crab turns bright fire-red.
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. Red King Crab have a reddish coloured shell and are the largest of the three Alaskan species - growing to be 4 - 9 pounds.
Red King Crab are found throughout the North Pacific Ocean - ranging from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands to the Gulf of Alaska and west to Russia. They are mainly harvested in Bristol Bay.
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.