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Oct 24, 2009 08:31 AM

Alaskan King Crab Legs

I just recently received a frozen box of uncooked Alaskan King Crab Legs from fishex and they look awesome. The problem is when I unpacked them, the aweful fishy smell of them was overwhelming. Now I don't know if they are safe to eat or what. And if I can take care of the fishy smell with a milk soak, how do I know they won't make me sick?

I'm sure Fishex doesn't want bad seafood returned to them, and they don't have anything I can find on what to do with the seafood.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? And if so, what did you do?

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  1. Without knowing whether you defrosted the item or not, it's hard to determine the proper course of action for you. If you are truly unsure of the quality, seek a refund or replacement.

    I would suggest you break off a small piece and steam it. If cooked meat smells fine afterwards and does not have a bad taste or texture....I would say you are good to go with any applications for eating.

    1. FWIW, My dad's been a commercial fisherman in Alaska for 30 years. While he doesn't fish for king crab, he often swaps halibut or black cod for king crab legs. When I've defrosted and prepared them, they have ALWAYS smelled extremely fishy.

      Incidentally, are you sure the crab's uncooked? As I understand it, they always cook the crab at the processing plant before flash freezing and distributing it. When you cook it, you're really only reheating it. Just throw the thawed legs on a cookie sheet with a little water and cover them loosely with some aluminum foil at 350 for maybe 15-20 minutes.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jencke

        When they were in season I got live ones (granted golden) fairly often at various asian groceries in B.C. I never noticed them to smell at all off (so I presume that they don't start off that way), but have noticed cooked/frozen/"manufactured" legs to have unpleasant odors/tastes (in addition to being horribly overcooked and too salty).

        1. re: Inferno

          Now I'm intrigued!! I wonder if there's anywhere in Seattle one can buy live king crab. How did you cook it? or transport it, for that matter? I can't imagine driving with a live king crab in my car!

          I've heard that processed/frozen lefts have unpleasant tastes. The initial odor notwithstanding, though, the legs my dad brings home are always divine. Not too salty, not overcooked. Of course, he always claims he has the freshest catch, though I don't know how his flash-frozen crab would have been any better than the crab you buy from Fishex.

          1. re: jencke

            I haven't seen them for a couple months so I presume they're out of season currently. They were only like 12-15 pounds I believe - they wrap them in paper and put them in bags. Cooking wise I just cut them in half (cleaned) and boiled them for a few minutes ~5. You need a pretty big pot obviously. When they were "in season" they weren't that expensive either ~10-15 CAD.

            1. re: jencke

              Not sure where you'd find them in seattle, I've never seen them at uwaijimaia or whatever it's called.

              I actually saw one in Richmond today (Osaka- TNT chain) but it wasn't particularly large or attractive @ 22 CAD/pound.

              I see a lot more live seafood at the various TNT chain stores, in the past few weeks I've seen: ling cod (probably from alaska), black cod, barramundi, tilapia, trout, lemon sole, prawns, lobsters, scallops, abalone, geoduck and various other shellfish. (all alive, I've also seen halibut, various rockfish and other things I don't remember).

              I think there are more "ethnic" places that sell them as well, but I'm not sure off hand. Maybe somebody can direct me to one.