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how do i know whether i am buying red king crab or blue king crab from the seller?

hae young Aug 3, 2009 08:11 PM

hey is there any sophisticate way to distinguish red king crab from blue king crab by visual and textual senses?
i am going to buy a specific amount of wights of red king crabs ,
and when it comes to flesh rate in the shells, should i buy severals or just one big red king crab?
which way do you think more economical such as the same weights of sevral king crabs in totall or of one big king crab?

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  1. monku RE: hae young Aug 3, 2009 08:21 PM

    Just curious...are you talking about king crab legs or a whole live king crab?
    Most likely if they're crab legs they are going to be red king crab.

    1. monku RE: hae young Aug 3, 2009 09:27 PM

      I kind of doubt you're going to find a whole red king crab.
      Most king crab legs sold are cooked then frozen-- legs that you will buy either thawed or frozen, but almost all have been cooked then frozen.
      Costco used to carry the 6/9 size which are some of the largest. (6-9 legs per 10 pounds)...now I think they've gone to a smaller size like 12/14. So it will depend on the size that will determine how many legs you're going to need.
      Figure 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of legs per person.

      19 Replies
      1. re: monku
        hae young RE: monku Aug 3, 2009 10:36 PM

        i will actually buy whole live red king crab because just legs will be insufficient for making addtional stock.
        so do you have some method to diffrentiate between red king crab and blue king crab alive?
        and how about flesh rate inside its shells?
        should i buy sevral small red king crabs or one big red king crab of same weight in total when it comes to the issue of how much more meat can i extract from these two options? ?

        1. re: hae young
          PBSF RE: hae young Aug 3, 2009 10:52 PM

          I seriously doubt you can find any live king crab, either red or blue, to buy. Maybe if you live in Alaska. If you do, let me know where.

          1. re: PBSF
            tallullah RE: PBSF Aug 4, 2009 03:49 AM

            You can get live king crab in Chinatown in Boston. Can't help on the yield difference between red and blue.

            1. re: PBSF
              hae young RE: PBSF Aug 4, 2009 03:51 AM

              actually in my local big giant fish market, i can buy imported canadian lobster (not Main lobster)and red or blue king crab from several sellers if i am willing to. but the problem is the issues, above i mentioned, i ought to know before i buy any.

              1. re: hae young
                Fritter RE: hae young Aug 4, 2009 04:35 AM

                Maine lobsters and Canadaian lobsters are the same. It's not like they change their passport if they swim across the border. Or maybe they have dual citizenship. I've been seeing both this season under $6 a pound.
                If you are buying a whole King Crab just to have the body for stock you are spending a shite load more than just buying legs or claws then making stock with shrimp or lobster shells.
                If you are unsure I would order the Red King as it is indeed the most common. In fact blues are often sold as reds. Blues have larger claws so if you see Reds that are Huge like those sold at Costco in the past with large claws chances are they are really Blues. The most common fresh King crabs are Goldens which are smaller and from the Aleutian Islands Vs Bristol Bay.

                1. re: Fritter
                  hae young RE: Fritter Aug 6, 2009 03:08 AM

                  i heard from many that if i am going to cook lobster and its variation dishes such as lobster bisque, it is better to buy fresh whole live lobsters. but why dont i need to buy whole live king crab if i want to cook its meat and variation?
                  is it due to some price considerations? lobsters are little bit cheaper than king crab in us?

                  1. re: hae young
                    monku RE: hae young Aug 6, 2009 10:34 AM

                    Lobster in the U.S. is quite a bit cheaper than king crab legs. Live lobster right now can be had for around $5.99/lb and king crab legs at Costco run about $14/lb.

                    I don't know about the price on a live king crab because I've never seen them in a market around here, but in Chinese restaurants the going price for live king crab is about $20-$25/lb here in the Los Angeles area.

                    Let me know what it is where you are.....just curious.

                    1. re: monku
                      hae young RE: monku Aug 6, 2009 08:29 PM

                      is the price of lobster per pound that you ar saying that of Maine?
                      i guess the price may differ in other states.

                      1. re: hae young
                        monku RE: hae young Aug 6, 2009 08:55 PM

                        I'm in Los Angeles and that $5.99 Maine Lobster price is at the Asian markets around here. I've seen it as low as $4.99/lb.

                        Where are you located?

                        1. re: monku
                          hae young RE: monku Aug 6, 2009 10:24 PM

                          at where i am located in, i occasionally see that king crabs are a little bit cheaper than lobsters.
                          BTW, do you think the meat ratio of a whole live king crab per pound might be similar that of lobsters?
                          i called my local fish monger and asked how much is the king crab per pouund.
                          he told me that it is presently a little bit more than $8.50

                          1. re: hae young
                            monku RE: hae young Aug 6, 2009 10:49 PM

                            Off the top of my head I'd say the meat ratio of a whole live king crab is higher than that of a Maine lobster.

                            No where I can think in the US where king crabs are a cheaper than Maine lobsters. I think the boat to processor price for king crab this year was $5/pound whereas the Maine Lobsters were fetching about $2/pound. So I don't know where you're shopping.

                            Where is it that you're located?....now I'm curious.

                            1. re: hae young
                              monku RE: hae young Aug 6, 2009 11:08 PM

                              $8.50/pound is a good price, as I mentioned before in Los Angeles at a Chinese restaurant they want $20-$25/pound for a whole cooked king crab. But, I've rarely seen live king crab in a market here, so I couldn't imagine what the price would be.

                              1. re: monku
                                hae young RE: monku Aug 7, 2009 02:51 AM

                                i am now staying at Seoul, South korea. from what you said, it seems in here lobster is more luxurious food than king crab but vice versa in us.

                                1. re: hae young
                                  Fritter RE: hae young Aug 7, 2009 06:03 AM

                                  We have friends that just returned after three years in Seoul. Don't you have a Costco there?
                                  In regards to weights and cost a 10 pound king crab will yield roughly two pounds of flesh or 20%.
                                  Live Maine or Canadian Lobsters that run 1-1.25# yield roughly 4 ounces as long as they are hard shells or roughly the same 20%.
                                  This of course depends on the size and type of crab. You mentioned that you can get Reds or Blues which can be freakin huge. I hope you have a witches cauldron in your kitchen or a commercial steam kettle.
                                  I was under the impression that most live kings sold to the Asian market were Goldens as they are much smaller. You should know that the Alaskan King crab season is very short and depending on each fishery between october-January. If you buy live kings now they have been in the tank a long time unless Russia has a different season.
                                  Maine Lobsters are in season now. At $6 a pound retail the net cost is roughly $1.88 an ounce.
                                  A ten pound live King even at whole sale might average $18 a pound or roughly $5.63 an ounce. For most here they would be adding some hefty over night air freight to that as well. I have bought live deep water crabs in the past but mostly for center pieces on large buffets. It's just not cost effective. Unlike Lobsters deep water crabs don't usually survive more than a few days out of the water.
                                  Here's an article some might find interesting.
                                  Hope this helps and give Costco a try if you can.


                                  1. re: Fritter
                                    hae young RE: Fritter Aug 7, 2009 08:34 AM

                                    yes, there are sevrale costcos in seoul and around it. i saw cooked frozen legs of king crab in there. even though it was not priced as hefty, i found them not so appealing yet because i and my family didnt taste any fresh king crab since we were born. beside that, actually it seems the prices of king crab change every day and depend on whether supplies of king crabs are enough or not as the sellers claim. as you mentioned i confirmed that sometimes the price reaches $18 or more than that. according to the seller, if i buy live whole king crab (red or blue) , they say it is certainly not the lowest possible price right now but neither the highest possible price i can expect. so i am going to check visually with my other senses in the fish market whether buying whole live king crab tomrrow is really worthwhile first experience for my family and me. and i found the web site that may tell some method to distinguish which is red and blue king crab, belive or not.
                                    to be honest, i am not really sure if this graphic measurement is really good way to find which is which.

                                    1. re: hae young
                                      Fritter RE: hae young Aug 7, 2009 08:38 AM

                                      I sincerely hope it works out for you but either way I think most of us here would agree that frozen king crab really is an excellent product over all.

                                      1. re: Fritter
                                        hae young RE: Fritter Aug 7, 2009 08:50 AM

                                        thanks. i will keep your advice in mind in fish market

                    2. re: Fritter
                      Mainelobstermen RE: Fritter Sep 10, 2013 07:15 PM

                      Yes maine and Canadian lobsters are the same, but only that. Maine lobsters taste sweeter and 95% of your Canadian lobster that u eat, have been sitting in a pound, tube,crate, for several months, when a lobster is stored for long periods of time it loses its flavor and its meat content is lost.

                    3. re: hae young
                      monku RE: hae young Aug 4, 2009 05:28 AM

                      Larger the legs on a crab the larger the yield of meat your're going to get, so you're better off buying the larger crab(s).

                      If you have places that sell live red and blue king crabs, I'm sure the seller will be able to tell you which is which.

              2. f
                fourunder RE: hae young Aug 4, 2009 03:59 AM

                Most King Crab sold is Red King Crab.



                1. c
                  CDouglas RE: hae young Aug 4, 2009 10:26 AM

                  If you are buying them live red king crab should look dark burgundy in color while blue king crab is brown with royal blue highlights - http://www.fishex.com/seafood/crab/ki...

                  After cooking however, both red and blue look quite similar with only subtle differences in coloring. This is why blue king crab is often sold as the more popular red.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CDouglas
                    Fritter RE: CDouglas Aug 4, 2009 10:33 AM

                    It can be tougher to tell after they are cooked but Blues are orange and the claws are bigger. Reds really are RED when cooked.
                    Look at the size of the claw in that photo.

                  2. h
                    hae young RE: hae young Aug 8, 2009 08:14 PM

                    yesterday which is saturday, i went very erly in the morning to the fish market. an i found the seller i visited before two times, i think the sellers in there tend to think that i am for a some types of retarant business. i asked her whther she have both red and blue king crab.
                    she bragged about her red king crabs, claiming they just came out from early morning auction. she seemed to be even a little arrogant because of her confidence in her red king crab. i beliveved her and her store.
                    she packed 3 red king crabs in a ice box made of styrofaoam as usual. and i brought back and didnt open the box untill alomst 10 hours passed. they were still alive even before i cooked. i steamed them one by one because my pot are not really big enought to fill three of them at once.
                    and when it comes to eating, i was really satisfied by sheere meats inside the king crabs' huge legs. my family all enjoyed. shells were not so hard that we dont have any difficulty for cutting the legs easily. while i was steaming the king crabs, i found red king crabs smell less than lobsters or other kinds of crabs. when i asked her where are those red king crabs from, she answered they are from russia. i dindt aske whethre there is the quater of king crabs in russia.
                    but i heard from other seller that the king crabs these korean marketes sells were not restricted from those limite of season.
                    i dont know whether it is true. but anyway i trust the seller i purchased from.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hae young
                      hae young RE: hae young Aug 8, 2009 09:53 PM

                      and in my subjective comaprison of taste between lobsters and red king crabs i have eaten,
                      thise red king crab was sweeter and softer than lobsters but while i was eating their meats, i was miising the a little chewiness of lobster. true. when i bought the lobsters more than 5 pounds, they were quiet too chewy, but lobster, less than those pounds, were very pleasureable.

                      1. re: hae young
                        hae young RE: hae young Aug 26, 2009 05:16 AM

                        hey! is there anyone who cooked king crab bisque?
                        i made bisque from the stock of king crab i cooked from the scratch.
                        but unlike last time i had made lobster bisque out of its stock, the king crab bisque wasnt sweet enough rather it was very bitter. it is maybe i put all the tomalle into the stock.
                        but i dont know why my king crab bisque isnt really sweet enough.
                        this time i omitt adding onions and celery. i just added tomato paste and tarragon, carrot.
                        the flesh of king crab was very sweet.
                        actually i do not delve into eating all parts of lobster such as lobster head or body.
                        but when our familly ate the king crab, we do not waste any parts of flesh.
                        do you think the cause we didnt left any meat out of king crab made the stock very bitter and un-sweet?

                    2. Soop RE: hae young Aug 26, 2009 06:42 AM

                      Enjoyed this topic. Didn't know that crab was more expensive than lobster! Don't know if that counts for the UK.

                      I've always wanted to make my own crab cakes, but I may have to settle for lobster instead? I was after collosal or jumbo chunks, but I could never find them sold on their own

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Soop
                        hae young RE: Soop Aug 26, 2009 08:13 AM

                        how much uk pounds or us dollars do you pay in uk for lobster?
                        in here( south korea), the seller sell their lobster by kg. in us, probably by pounds i guess.

                        1. re: hae young
                          Soop RE: hae young Aug 26, 2009 08:30 AM

                          Same here, kg. Uhmmm.. in a standard restaurant, you'd probably pay about £25 - £30 for a lobster the length of your forearm (wrist to elbow).

                          Just checked a fish site and it reckons £21 per kg. I'll do some math

                          Well, at 0.45lb in a kg, that equates to about $14 per kg in the states. Allowing for the conversion between $ and £ (which I'm not sure of) that means UK lobster seems to be 3 times more expensive than US!

                          Another site I checked is £13.25 per lb http://www.ramus.co.uk/
                          Extortion! Maybe crab is cheaper over here?!

                          1. re: Soop
                            hae young RE: Soop Aug 26, 2009 09:59 AM

                            i think you meant the price of european lobster rather than that of maine or canadian lobster around usa.
                            actually in korea, there are the other types of crabs just like those of japans.
                            i found one of the crab, called DAE -GAE, in here tastes very very similar except that king crabs have much lager quanitiies of meats. i dont know how japanese are calling the same crab though. but the crab is very popular in japn either. i frequently see japaneses food channels. and you know even though there is definitly subtle diffrence between the cab i just mentioned and lobster. when i made the bisque by the same method whne making lobster bisque, it was quite similar in taste for me.
                            but i dont know why the king crab i found very delicious and abundantly meaty wasnt good for making the bisque. do youthink it is because i ate almost all the meats out of its body? i never tried the meats of lobster body or head. if i take all the meats out of lobster body, could the stock be too un-sweety? what do you think?

                      2. k
                        Kater RE: hae young Aug 26, 2009 11:27 AM

                        You are very fortunate to be able to buy fresh king crab, in most of the US it is simply impossible to get. True red king crab is the best and you can distinguish it by it's red color and large claws. Red crab is the very sweetest though the blue crab is certainly very good. A fresh live crab will be quite full of meat, you should pick it up and make sure it feels heavy if you can. One live red will serve quite a few people.

                        Regarding lobster - while the hard-shelled lobsters from Canada are the same animal the lobster from New England waters is considered the best. I've eaten many Canadian lobsters and been happy to have them but the best have been from Maine and even Massachusetts. Ultimately the greatest factor is freshness. We tend to think of Canadian lobster as lower quality because when you're served or sold a live lobster that has been out of the ocean for quite a long time it has often come from Canada. The suppliers who pull lobster out of the ocean the day they ship it to you and the restaurants and markets that buy their lobsters off the boat daily in the US are getting them from New England.

                        It may not make a difference which you choose in Seoul AND the lobsters labeled Maine may not actually be from there. Some folks use the term Maine Lobster to refer to any hard shelled lobster from the Northern Atlantic. I would encourage you to ask question and try all of the offerings. Even a live lobster that has sat in a tank for some time is still pretty tasty. If you travel to the East Coast of the US be sure to find a place to get a geniunely fresh live lobster - a lot of Americans have never had one!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Kater
                          Fritter RE: Kater Aug 26, 2009 11:42 AM

                          "while the hard-shelled lobsters from Canada are the same animal the lobster from New England waters is considered the best"

                          Considered the best by whom? I think an awful lot of Canadians would disagree with that bold statement. Typically the colder the water the better the lobster. Water gets colder as you go further North. Assuming that a lobster that is not fresh is from Canada is a bit over the top IMO. When you buy lobsters the claws are tied with a rubber band. If they are from Maine they almost always say Maine. If not then they might say "wild caught USA". Canadian lobster bands are marked appropriately. I've had several Canadians and Maine's this season with the prices at $6 a pound. No difference in taste.

                          1. re: Fritter
                            Kater RE: Fritter Aug 26, 2009 12:11 PM

                            If you cannot taste the difference it sounds as if you have never had a fresh lobster.

                            1. re: Kater
                              Fritter RE: Kater Aug 26, 2009 12:27 PM

                              "If you cannot taste the difference it sounds as if you have never had a fresh lobster"

                              I think your deluding yourself. Maine and Canada are adjacent. The lobsters are the same species. There is no difference unless you are trying to compare PEI lobsters. Suggesting that all Canadian lobsters are not fresh is beyond absurd in fact it's just plain..........


                            2. re: Fritter
                              Mainelobstermen RE: Fritter Sep 10, 2013 07:25 PM

                              There is documented evidence dating back to the 1950's that maine lobsters test better, and the lobster bands don't mean crap cause all Canadian buyers re band the own lobsters with maine USA bands because many many states and countries won't buy Canadian lobsters cause there too dull tasting. Come to maine look me up. Free lobster dinner on me. 1 maine lobster 1 Canadian, u will be left speach less that maines is the BEST!!!!

                              1. re: Mainelobstermen
                                cantkick RE: Mainelobstermen Sep 14, 2013 03:16 PM

                                Sorry, but I must disagree. I grew up getting Maine lobsters fresh off the boats. But the best I ever had was in Peggy's Cove, NS, 40 years ago.

                                (But the fact that it was on my honeymoon might have a slight influence on my recollection.)

                                And I prefer pegged, not banded.

                                1. re: Mainelobstermen
                                  JMF RE: Mainelobstermen Sep 15, 2013 05:42 AM


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