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Dungeness Crab Sightings? (SF to Pleasanton)

niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 06:32 PM

Some SF friends just moved to Pleasanton (although they still work in SF). We want to get some live (the bigger the better) dungeness crabs on Friday for this coming weekend (either in SF or on the way to Pleasanton). We usually get live crabs from an Asian fish/poultry shop on the south side of Clement around maybe 8th ave. (that general vicinity on Clement). So, where have you seen crabs recently?

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  1. j
    Janet RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 07:01 PM

    We just bought crab last week in Oakland's Chinatown. All of the seafood markets have it.

    1. Ruth Lafler RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 07:31 PM

      If you can wait a couple of weeks, the local crab season will have started. Any crab you buy now has been shipped in from points north.

      1. singleguychef RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 08:26 PM

        Hmmm, I can't wait for crab season to start!

        1. Chuckles the Clone RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 08:29 PM

          99 Ranch in El Cerrito. They're small and about $4/lb, as of day before yesterday.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chuckles the Clone
            niki rothman RE: Chuckles the Clone Nov 1, 2006 08:42 PM

            That is really cheap. Are they alive? And by small - could you estimate approximate weight? Like are they half the size of usual dungeness? Are you sure they are dungeness? This is tempting but we've never been to that store. Where in El Cerrito is it?

            1. re: niki rothman
              kc72 RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 08:45 PM

              right off of the Central Ave. exit on 80 -- you can see the Pacific East Mall sign.

              1. re: niki rothman
                Chuckles the Clone RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 11:46 PM

                Small claws, which is the whole dungeness thing isn't it?
                Maybe 1.5lb each? Last year they had them looking like this
                at roughly this price through at least Thanksgiving, so there's
                no rush until someone else confirms. I'm not much of a crab
                guy and there's some potential for confusion on my part here.

            2. s
              Sebby RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 08:40 PM

              The season opens Nov 15th. Although, it was delayed last year due to pricing issues.
              I'd wait a few weeks and get the local ones.

              1. v
                vliang RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 09:17 PM

                The ones they have at Ranch 99 are live and definitely dungeness. They are in tanks, fished out, and put in paper bag if you want to kill them yourself. Otherwise, they will kill and clean them for you if you wish. There are several branches between SF and Pleasonton depending on which route you are taking (assuming you are driving). Here's a link to their store locator.
                As I've seen your posts about Lee Hou's crabs, the ones I saw earlier this week at the Daly City Ranch 99 were about equivalent to Lee Hou's "medium" ones.

                1 Reply
                1. re: niki rothman
                  larochelle RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 10:50 PM

                  I recommend you chow down on these Canadian crabs and then when the local crab season opens, have another crab chowdown - then you'll know whether you can taste the difference.

                2. a
                  Alan408 RE: niki rothman Nov 1, 2006 09:31 PM

                  Live Crab is now available in the SF area year round. The 99 Ranch Market in Milpitas is receiving live crab 2-3 times a week.

                  The last time (about 2 weeks ago) I purchased crab, I inquired where the live crabs were from; I was told Canada. I suspect Canadian crabs are held (live) in tanks and air freighted to the SF area. In the olden days, surplus crab was cooked and frozen, now days the demand is large enough for live crabs, the surplus crabs are being kept live in tanks.

                  A market size dungeness crab will weigh between 1.5-2 lbs, often smaller crabs (1-1.5 lbs) are available for a lower price than the larger ones. Yield on a dungeness is between 20-25%.

                  1. jupiter RE: niki rothman Nov 2, 2006 04:49 PM

                    Bought a couple crabs at Ranch 99 in Daly City last thrusday for 3.49 a pound.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: jupiter
                      niki rothman RE: jupiter Nov 2, 2006 07:40 PM

                      Live? How big? How did they taste?

                      1. re: niki rothman
                        jupiter RE: niki rothman Nov 2, 2006 08:21 PM

                        Live, probably between 1.5 to 2 lbs. and they tasted very sweet and delicious. We were doing hot pot, so i had the fish monger chop them in to quarters and then we steamed/boiled them in our hot pot (our hot pot was too shallow to submerge them, so we jsut put the lid on and steamed them for about 15 minutes in the broth and they were AWESOME)

                        1. re: jupiter
                          niki rothman RE: jupiter Nov 2, 2006 11:29 PM

                          On the home cooking board we were discussing crab and I noted I just liked it steamed with melted butter or with scallions, garlic and ginger the way Lee Hou in SF makes it. So Hungry Celeste was trying to convince me that my crabbie tastes were too simple since her compatriots in New Orleans made all these delicious crab concoctions (that seem over the top to me), but now, jupiter, you mention your hot pot dish - which sounds absolutely wonderful. Would you please post your recipe on the home cooking board?

                          1. re: niki rothman
                            Ruth Lafler RE: niki rothman Nov 3, 2006 12:48 AM

                            Different preps for different crabs. Dungeness has a sweeter, more delicate flavor than Gulf blue crabs and those "over-the-top" preps just overwhelm it. IMHO, of course.

                            Uh ... topic ... my local fishmonger has had "new season" Dungeness for a couple of weeks now, but I'm not sure where they're from. I've been meaning to ask him.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                              hon RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 3, 2006 08:50 PM

                              I couldn't disagree more, blue crabs are much sweeter!

                    2. chef chicklet RE: niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 07:15 PM

                      I would try Oakland Chinatown, they have many options for fresh-live seafood and they are reasonably priced.

                      1. g
                        gordon wing RE: niki rothman Nov 6, 2006 06:43 AM

                        just had some crab tonight that I bought at 99 Ranch .... today's price was $4.69 :~( just a few days ago it was $3.99 lb. I was a bit worried when I was cleaning the crab and breaking it down - the claws came off very easily on some ... but the meat turned out to be very sweet. Although I think the meat's texture was a bit softer than I'm used to. These crabs were from Canada. Looking forward to the local season!

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