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jumbo blue crab in SF?

hi there - i moved here from the east coast a year ago and have been wondering if there is a fish monger that ever gets fresh jumbo blue crab in SF? the only thing blue crab i can find out here is canned!


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  1. Chinese markets are your best bet to find live blue crab.
    Manila Oriental Market carries them.

    Manila Oriental Market
    4175 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

    1 Reply
    1. re: bong

      This is the SF Bay Area and Dungeness crab is king here. Any Blue Crab you get here will be flown in and not as fresh as what you got living back east.

      I sure do miss Maryland crab cakes!

    2. 99Ranch and the Seafood City stores sometimes have live blue crabs, but they are the Asian blue swimmer crabs - similar, but not the same species as the beautiful swimmers of the US East Coast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jimtak

        you are right, blue swimmer just doesn't hit the mark. thanks for your help everyone! guess i'll have to get my fill of jumbo blues when i fly home. :(

      2. Sometimes, this time of year, you can find soft shell crabs (expensive). Hopefully live and kicking. Some Chinese markets carry blue crabs, but be sure they are alive.

        1. Short answer is enjoy the dungeness here, and fly back for blue. Dungeness can be very sweet and tasty - find a place that has fresh steamed, uncracked, and get a half crab. Crack and eat yourself - forget the cakes and vietnamese purses. I've even had good ones from the fisherman's wharf sidewalk sellers; andronico's has done me right a few times.

          This coming from a guy who has pulled his share out of the chester river.

          1. Yesterday, the fish market at Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland had blue crab for $4 each. Don't know what size they were. They thought the price would go down later in the season. I know this isn't SF, but depending on where you are in SF might be just as easy to hit Rockridge.

            2 Replies
            1. re: PegS

              We are from the midwest also. Found the Marriot Hotel to have good Maryland crab cakes. thats if you are willing to go out for it.

              1. re: PegS

                $4 for one hard shell blue crab? Good lord! They must have flown business class.

              2. They had a great looking jumbo blue crab po boy at Mua last nite (in Oaktown, however).

                2 Replies
                1. re: escargot3

                  I am baffled by a jumbo blue crab po boy. Is it a that a boiled crab on a soft bun? Isn't the shell rather crunchy? If you want a live jumbo blue crab, you will pay a price.

                2. FYI: I saw blue crabs at Lucky Seafood in Oakland Chinatown today - $8.99, seemed pricey. They also had dungeness for $4.99/lb, they were tanked but not that lively.

                  1. I hail from Maryland and I have never seen a Jumbo blue crab here. Asian markets carry them but not that size. A lot of the ones we get in Maryland now are not coming from the Chesapeake any more. Except for the ones at my dad's house (-:

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: chefj

                      So how big is a jumbo? One web source says about 7.5", which doesn't seem that jumbo to me. As a kid, my personal best was 11.5", but we pulled a lot of 9" and 10". 5.5" is legal but I think we threw back most 6". Just not worth hauling and cracking.

                      Point to point, of course.

                      1. re: bbulkow

                        I do not remember. I could ask Dad. But 7" sounds about right. the larger ones we used call heavy weight or colossal. I think we got a 10" soft shell right off my folks dock!

                        1. re: chefj

                          The blue crab I see at Ranch 99 are never that big. They can't be from Chesapeake Bay because none appear to be legal size. do we ever get the real thing out here except when a restaurant flies in their own.

                          1. re: wolfe

                            I have never seen them. I can ask my fish monger if he ever brings any in.
                            The soft shells that I used to get for the restaurant were from the Chesapeake but to tell you the truth the dressed (dead and cleaned) or frozen soft shell are better than what we get fresh out here. The live ones always get leathery (or are allowed to get leathery) before they get here.

                            1. re: chefj

                              One reason I'm not fond of soft shells.

                              1. re: bbulkow

                                If that is the only reason, try the frozen ones. they are quite good and pan ready!

                              2. re: chefj

                                I don't think they are "allowed." I think that's part of the natural process of molting, growing and shell hardening. To not allow it would be like trying to stop the tide. Canute couldn't, can you?

                                1. re: wolfe

                                  Sorry I do not understand. If you clean them while they are really soft (still back east) and freeze them they stay soft.

                                  1. re: chefj

                                    I was responding to this statement: The live ones always get leathery (or are allowed to get leathery) before they get here.

                                    1. re: wolfe

                                      Oh. They actually let them get a little tough before shipping. When they are super soft they tend to die in transport.