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Dungeness crab prices for '11

Wholesale prices have been set.

Reports so far: $3.99 at 99 Ranch: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8198...

I saw $3.69 at Lucky Seafood and $4.29 at Orient Market, both in Oakland Chinatown. There weren't many left by 2 p.m. and they looked small. Didn't buy, got sick last night so I'll wait.

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  1. Live crab is $4.48/lb. today at Dodwell's in Oakland.

    5 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Sun's Market in Millbrae has them for $3.99/lb.

      1. re: baron45

        I bought one at Sun's today for $3.99; I'd never cooked a live one before and somehow, I don't think I did it right.

        I steamed it for 16 minutes (it was 2 lbs.). At the store, the butcher said 10 min, checker said 15. Then, I read 8 minutes a pound. BUT, it was definitely undercooked.

        After water came to a boil, I put flame on med. low and put the crab in the steamer. (This is what my Chinese neighbor said to do -- others things on youtube said to do high flame, one said for 20 minutes. (My neighbor said she never cooks them, tho.)

        What did I do wrong? AND, trying to eat some, the shell cut my thumb badly (crab's revenge?)

        1. re: walker

          For a 2-pounder, I steam it for 15 minutes and it has never been undercooked. However, I keep the flame on high.

          1. re: walker

            I have to agree that there is a bit of variation in what may work for you. Following some tips on this board, I also steamed 2lbs for 15-17 mins and got undercooked crab (fat and tomalley runny, still somewhat translucent meat inside). Flame was at 5 out of 7, so I think hard steam is needed. I steamed another 10 minutes to get it cooked. I enjoyed the difference in flavor and texture but I don't think I'd do this if I'm trying to feed others. Boiling definitely gets the job done faster for a crowd and still tastes great.

            1. re: walker

              The legs cooks faster than the body. If you feel it's underdone, you can yank off the legs and put the rest back in for 3 to 5 mins. Some of my family members do this routinely, allowing 8 to 10 mins for the legs, then 3 mins for the rest, feeling that each section is then cooked optimally.

        2. Whole Foods in San Jose posted today that they have them in for $6.99/lb. Not the best price, but I am wondering if other markets will be carrying them for cheaper.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sueinca

            Lucky's has a three-day (Fri, Sat, Sun) sale on "local crab" is in its sale flyer for this week -- but no price given (presumably because the flyer went to print before they settled on the wholesale price). I notice in this thread that people aren't always making a distinction between cooked crab and live crab, so read carefully.

          2. FoodNet in San Leandro $3.99 lb big and live, two tank fulls of crabs.

            1. Just bought 2 cooked ones from Piazza's in San Mateo: $5.99/lb The crabs were 1.7 - 1.8 lbs.

              3 Replies
                1. re: artemis

                  Piazza's San Mateo also said they were local. And that's what was printed on their flyer, so I hope they were correct. We certainly waited long enough, especially since this was the first day they had them. The crab was good enough, though the meat was not as tightly packed as I had hoped, and there was a fair amount of water in the crab.

                  I always take crab home whole, having once long ago made the mistake of agreeing to "cracked and cleaned" crab, not realizing they were going to powerhose all the tomalley and flavor out of the poor waterlogged critter.

                2. re: pilinut

                  I picked up 2 at Piazza's in Palo Alto today, 2lbs each - they swore they were fresh, local... I usually get live ones too but today I just wanted to eat them, not fiddle around!

                3. $5.99 at Richmond Ranch 99. 2 for 1 at Safeway on sale but didn't see any at Rolls Royce Safeway, Richmond

                  1. $3.99 at Koreana Plaza in Oakland. Big variation in size in the tanks, and not a ton of them this afternoon, but they looked feisty and good.

                    1. Cupertino R99 -- $5.99/lb. as of Thursday 12/1. At 5 pm only four crabs left in the tank.

                      1. Clement St $3.99 and $4.99/lb.

                        1. Crabs in a tank are living, and not feeding, they undergo catabolism to stay alive, and release ammonia, and aquarium keepers don't continuously flush in new salt water. It's usually a better idea to buy freshly-upon-caught steamed crabs. With tank-kept live lobsters, not a problem, I don;'t know why this is, however even so, it's best to buy when the tank has been filled with new arrivals. Old ones lose their meat, otherwise you're paying for shells and shrunken soft-textured meat.

                          1. The Whole Foods in Oakland has 'em for $6.99 a pound COOKED. I'm curious about how that compares to other places that might cook them for you. Since I've never killed and cooked them myself (and my knives are way too dull to do it properly), I might be willing to pay the extra $3 a pound to not have to do that... which is pretty much entirely what they are banking on, yes?

                            37 Replies
                            1. re: peacemeals

                              Answered my own question via http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/817379. Safeway has cooked/cleaned/cracked crabs for $9.99 a pound (yikes!) but currently has a buy one get one free deal, which makes it two bucks a pound cheaper than Whole Foods - while that lasts. Usually their sales last for about a week, through Tuesday?

                              1. re: peacemeals

                                Heck, I thought I was going to come in with the most expensive price - 8.95 at Kanaloa Seafood at Oxbow Market in Napa.

                                1. re: peacemeals

                                  More follow-up - hit Koreana Plaza for the first time (AWESOME I LOVE IT - best sashimi I've ever seen in a supermarket, about a quarter of the price of the crappy sashimi you can get at Whole Foods a few blocks away) and got four live crabs for $3.49 a pound. And they were in great shape. Currently waiting in my freezer while I debate steaming versus boiling!

                                  1. re: peacemeals

                                    They had live Dungeness? In the 10 years I've been going there I have never seen live dungeness. I know they are going to expand and they told me they were going to add fresh seafood. Which is great for me, i live a couple miles from them.

                                2. re: peacemeals

                                  You can kill them just by throwing them into a pot of boiling water enhanced with some crab boil, no knives required. Hold the crab from behind. I boil 12-15 mins for a 2 lb crab. My personal experience with cooked crabs at Safeway, Andronicos, etc., is that the they are often too salty. Also, if you've never had a warm crab fresh from the pot, you really should try it. I greatly prefer it to cold crab.

                                  1. re: rubadubgdub

                                    A tip: put (don't throw) them in the pot upside down.

                                    1. re: rubadubgdub

                                      I have Ranch 99 cut up the live crab for me. I just look the other way or walk around until they are done. Then I roast the raw crab in the oven at 400 degrees with some ginger and green onion. Warm crab, not overcooked and not waterlogged. And Ranch 99 keeps the big shells and inards so my garbage does not smell horrible all week.

                                      1. re: Rhee

                                        What's the half-life of freshness of a dead uncooked crab? I thought after a few hours it becomes too spoiled to eat.

                                        1. re: calumin

                                          It releases enzymes that start to break down the meat after it is dead.
                                          The breakdown takes more than a few hours but they should be cooked as soon as possible after being killed. Sorry I do not know how long it will take to reach toxic levels.

                                          1. re: calumin

                                            Still haven't figured out what the half-life is, but here's why you need to cook them quickly:


                                      2. re: peacemeals

                                        Here's my old post on how to steam a Dungeness crab, no need to dispatch it before cooking.

                                        Adding a link for Alioto-Lazio mentioned in MikeW's post below.

                                        Note to all that autolinking is not working, so please add them manually if you can.

                                        440 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA

                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                          That's true, but I've read that it's most humane to kill them by just driving the knife through the skull. Do I have the guts? Do I have the knife skills? I dunno....

                                          1. re: peacemeals

                                            If you can hit the right spot, perhaps. But more reliably, placing the crab head down, carapace down in an inch of boiling water kills it right away instead of letting it struggle on your cutting board.

                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                              Reminded me of a youtube video titled "How to kill a king crab humanely". Took them 5 whole minutes to figure it out with the knife sticking on the crab's belly while the crab is struggling/fidgeting the whole time.

                                            2. re: peacemeals

                                              I guarantee that the crabs you're buying from the supermarkets have been killed by boiling so if you don't do it that way yourself, you're still supporting that method with your purchase. I don't know if crabs are same as lobsters, but I've read that they can't feel heat as the temp rises, at least according the the wonderful Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson. So it's debatable whether knife vs. boil is more humane. Humane to me is quick death as painless as possible. If you are not good with knives then you're right, it won't be pretty.

                                                1. re: peacemeals

                                                  Okay, you guys know a lot about cooking crab and this is driving me crazy.

                                                  I bought them and stuck them in the freezer on my way to do some more errands. They were in the freezer for 4 or 5 hours. I threw them into a steamer filled with boiling water and hard steamed them for 20 minutes. Then I hit up the internet again to see if I could freeze the cooked crab until I had time to crack and clean it tomorrow.

                                                  Internet says to me, (paraphrasing here), "OMG YOU CANNOT EAT THAT CRAB!!! IT PROBABLY DIED IN THE FREEZER AND IMMEDIATELY RELEASED ALL SORTS OF TOXINS INTO THE FLESH!!!"

                                                  What do you think? First of all, did I kill it by freezing it for that long? And second of all, if I did, am I gonna die if I eat it? And third of all, if it did become toxin-filled, is there a way to tell before I eat a whole crab?

                                                  In the meantime, I guess I'll find room in the fridge....

                                                  1. re: peacemeals

                                                    You may have killed it, but I am fairly certain you won't die. Any toxins are likely to be of the "doesn't taste as good", and not the "these are toxins doctors in ER's should know about" variety.

                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                      Thank you!

                                                      I found a variety of sites afterward that actually INSTRUCTED people to freeze the crabs dead before cooking... so I don't know what that one site's problem was. Will report back if I die ;)

                                                      1. re: peacemeals

                                                        Could it be that the other sites expected or instructed to cook the crabs shortly thereafter? Six hour seems like a long time.

                                                        1. re: peacemeals

                                                          "Will report back if I die ;)"

                                                          Do let us know if there are crabs there!

                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                            If there are human ghosts, why not crab ghosts?

                                                            1. re: tpc

                                                              I was thinking crab a la diabla....or maybe with angel hair pasta....

                                                      2. re: peacemeals

                                                        It was dead before you cooked it. I think there will be a taste tradeoff as a result. You can tell us how much. If a lot, I would suggest that you stop eating it as it's probably nature's way of telling you something is amiss. You can leave your crab in the fridge overnight without harm although I would recommend cleaning it first (removing outer shell, gills, loose bits). If your fridge is not too cold then place it on a bowl of ice.

                                                        1. re: peacemeals

                                                          If you steamed them straight out of the freezer (that is, frozen) and only steamed them for 20 minutes, they probably did not get done. The body on my two pound live crabs took 18-20 minutes to get done.

                                                          1. re: wally

                                                            How do you know when they're done? I steamed mine (2 lbs) for 17 min and was really undercooked. If I try another time, how long? How high is the flame under the steamer?

                                                            1. re: walker

                                                              Remember that steam is hotter than boiling water. Your flame needs to be high enough for the water below to simmer consistently and generate a cloud of steam.

                                                              Maybe the question is, what do you consider undercooked? Since the vast majority of crabs served in restaurants or cooked by seafood markets are horrendously overcooked and stringy, the delicacy and tenderness of barely done crab meat might be a foreign texture to many.

                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                That's true. The meat in the legs was stringy in places, inside the body sort of gelatinous. I put both in my cioppino last night and it tasted great.

                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                  If you are still following this, do you expect the temp to drop or steam to stop when you put the crabs in? Does having several crabs in there (usually 4 crabs, eight pounds) extend the time, and by how much. I posted your "recipe" on CHOW today, where it said to put the back side up, and steam about 7 minutes per pound. Mine are often a little more translucent than I like going 12-17 minutes from when I put them in.

                                                                  BTW I paid $5.99/pound in at Country Square in Vacaville today. Ouch!

                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                    Temp usually drops when you put something that is at a lower temp in there - faster/more if it's eight pounds of something!

                                                                    I would guess that it only extends the time by the longer amount of time it takes for the water to get back up to boiling, but I'll defer to anyone who has done this more than once, unlike me!

                                                                    Saw them at $5.99 a pound myself, at that fish place in Housewives Market in Oakland, on Monday! Live.

                                                                    1. re: peacemeals

                                                                      But the crabs don't go in the water. Not clear to me why the temp of the water should dropl. I guess the ambient temp in the pot changes enoughto bring the water temp down?

                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                        Putting stuff in a steamer does not affect the amount of steam being generated by the boiling water.

                                                                    2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                      When I put a crab on to steam, I slide the lid back with my left hand just enough to slip the crab in with my right hand. I try not to let much steam out.

                                                                      Minutes per pound doesn't seem like a good way to estimate cooking time for something shaped like a crab. Rather than a solid single muscle, you've got thin extremities, then the body meat encased in a air pocket with some spongy insulation. I don't think that a 3-lb crab will take twice as long as a 1.5-lb crab.

                                                                      If I'm steaming four or fewer crabs, I steam them one at a time so that each one comes out exactly right and can be enjoyed hot. Other times I will do two at once, stacked on top of each other, but I don't like to do that. When I have to do that, I first place the bigger one, put the lid on, and wait until it stops moving. Then I put the smaller one on top, take it out sooner, and then leave the larger one to steam for another minute or so. I don't have a pot large enough to place them side by side.

                                                                      If you're taking the time to put in four crabs, seems like all the steam will escape the pot and will need to be regenerated. If the crabs are touching each other, they're not fully exposed to the steam and will cook more unevenly as well as taking longer.

                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                        Of course! You da' bomb!

                                                                        This time (before your reply), I spread them out a bit, and pulled at the legs. If they came off, I figured that one more done than the others, and pulled out that one sooner than later.

                                                                  2. re: walker

                                                                    I pull the legs off, one at a time. I don't like them stringy so remove them early, but I check out the meat inside the joint with the body. If it is still kind of gray and translucent I leave it in. I am not using a standard steamer.

                                                                  3. re: wally

                                                                    The crab legs taste good, but the bodies are indeed not quite done. Will probably throw them in the microwave (heresy?) or steamer for a little bit longer.

                                                                    1. re: peacemeals

                                                                      Hmmm ... maybe microwave might work.There are a few things that the microwave does the best job, like corn on the cob. I wonder if crab would be another.

                                                      3. Alioto-Lazio at the wharf. $4 a pound for live crabs as of yesterday. Mine were 2 pounds each.

                                                        1. Another tip - although it sounds weird, microwaving crabs is a GREAT, tasty, and easy method... http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-02-04...

                                                          12 Replies
                                                          1. re: Paul H

                                                            For the microwave they put it in an oven bag. Do you put it in live? Is there a problem with the claws puncturing the bag?

                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                              Read page 2 and 3 of linked article with no mention of dispatching crab prior to starting microwave.
                                                              For Microwave Crab
                                                              1 live Dungeness crab,
                                                              1 tablespoon water
                                                              1 heat-resistant oven bag (Reynolds is one brand)

                                                              1. re: wolfe

                                                                I did read the article -- it didn't mention killing it, but it didn't say alive, either, nor did it give any tips for getting the critter into a bag (which I have: they're perfect for reading a Kindle in the bath tub). I like the Pyrex bowl idea.

                                                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                my suggestion would be to use a pyrex bowl with lid (those are heavy enough so the arthopod can't kick it off) -- cooking inside plastic isn't very appealing.

                                                                1. re: moto

                                                                  From the article: "We microwaved crab just as we did the lobster, in an oven bag with a tablespoon of water, and in a bowl enclosed snugly by plastic wrap."

                                                                  Any way, I can see the use if you don't have a stove but steaming is so easy and frankly I don't want to see a crab in a lighted microwave moving around as the death ray hits it. I'd rather drop it in a pot and close the lid.

                                                                  1. re: ML8000

                                                                    Once, a few years ago, I read an article in the Chron about using microwave for this. I did it with a fresh, live, lobster and it REALLY bothered me to see it struggling while cooking in the microwave.

                                                                    Never will use that method again. Maybe I'll try steaming.

                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                      i freeze crabs for about 10 minutes, then slip them into boiling water. i don't think the crabs feel anything because they never jump or struggle in the water. it's straightforward as long as you have a big pot.

                                                                      i don't think i'd want to microwave a live crab.

                                                                      1. re: calumin

                                                                        ... And crabs don't scream like lobsters.

                                                                        1. re: calumin

                                                                          Do you guys cook them right away when you reach home? If not, how do you keep them alive until it's time to cook dinner?

                                                                          1. re: M_and_H

                                                                            I found the best way is put the live crab in a five gallon bucket with seawater or a small ice chest. Get yourself a live bait aerator, found at most tackle shops for around ten dollars. Runs on batteries and will keep them lively while keeping oxygen in the water same as a aquarium pump.

                                                                            1. re: M_and_H

                                                                              Just put some ice in a coller, cover the ice with and old clean towel, and set the crabs on top of the towel. They will last for several hours just fine.

                                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      I put it in live and had no problem with bag punctures. Those oven bags are pretty tough, and anyway, I can't image a small hole or two would make any difference. It's not a pressure cooker. And if your are worried about over-rambunctious crustaceans, stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes before micro-waving (or steaming). (This is also a good tip for lobster).

                                                                  2. Just came back from Oakland Chinatown, the best price I found was $3.59 / lb at LG Supermarket (formerly New Sung Hung Fat) for live crab, with mostly average size and some larger crab in the tank. For dead crab, all the stores I went to that had them, like New Sang Chong, were offering them for $2.99 / lb.

                                                                    LG Supermarket
                                                                    325 10th St. Oakland, CA

                                                                    1. I just bought a beautiful 2.30 lb crab at Andronico's in San Anselmo yesterday for $6.99 lb. But I was too excited to have some to look around. Really delicious. I'm expecting it to go on special as Christmas nears.

                                                                      1. Just returned from 99 Ranch in Mountain View - $4.99/lb for live crabs and the crabs are about 2lbs each!

                                                                        1. $3.99/lb for live crabs at Lion Market in San Jose (280/Saratoga). 2+ lbs each.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: 2m8ohed

                                                                            $3.99/lb for live crabs at 99 Ranch in Foster City. About a dozen people waiting in line just for the crabs.

                                                                          2. Bought two beauties from Seafood Center on Clement this afternoon. $4.99/lb for 2+lbs., $3.99/lb. for lower.

                                                                            1. 99 Ranch near Richmond is charging $4.49/pound. Bought ~25 pounds of it for a mega crab boil! :D

                                                                              1. At New May Wah on Clement, $3.99/lb for smaller crabs, $4.99/lb for the 2 lb ones we got. Sign said USA/Canada.

                                                                                1. I have wondered whether or not sources such as New May Way or 99 Ranch actually offer local crab during season or simply keep using their usual off-season sources of live crab. Any one know if these are local crab or not?

                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: alfairfax

                                                                                    I was at May Wah on Thursday when they got their first shipment of local crabs -- the tanks were completely full - more than usual.

                                                                                    1. re: alfairfax

                                                                                      I wish someone would ask and report back. I have wondered the same and the generic "USA" sign is not that reassuring. I'm sure price is king. I do think that some Chinese markets get local crab because I remember in previous years that when there has been a storm and boats are not out crabbing, the tanks are also empty.

                                                                                      1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                        99 Ranch buys local crab when it's in season and when it's not (during summer) they will buy from up north Canada. You will also see the price difference of $2.99 to $8.99 per lb.

                                                                                      2. re: alfairfax

                                                                                        I suppose anything is possible, but I have been getting crab at NMW for years and it never occurred to me to think they would be getting crab elsewhere when the supply is in season and abundant locally. Their tanks are typically full of lively crabs when the weather is good.

                                                                                        Why would they pay more to ship them from elsewhere when the supply is so good locally?

                                                                                        1. re: Civil Bear

                                                                                          Well, it the price they are getting from the big boys up north is less, I don't think they would mind paying less. I'm not sure what shipping is really involved other than to bring crabs south if they're coming this way anyway to fish and load up the boats again with local crab and head back. There are plenty of boats fishing here that are not local. I've heard from friend who is a diver/boat hand who goes out every weekend that the commercial crabbing is actually not that good this year contrary to what the recreational folks have been reporting. Anyone else hear this?

                                                                                          1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                            I was on a charter boat on Sunday and when the pots were pulled up, the average was about 12-14 crabs per pot. Some of the pots appeared to have been raided overnight since the bait jars were missing. They were rebaited and soaked for 5-6 hours while we went rockfishing at the Farallon Islands. We retrieved the same pots and the average increased to 20-25 crabs for that short time period but some were undersized and were thrown back. Overall, the sizes of the crab were expectedly smaller than what we were getting prior to the crabbers' price strike. However, they were still tasty and everybody went home happy with limits of crab and rockfish + 17 lingcod. Here's some video of the rockfishing and the crab pots being pulled up:


                                                                                            1. re: baron45


                                                                                              Newbie to charter boat question - How many crabs can each person take home from these charter fishing trips? Also, if I go on a crab only trip do I need to purchase a fishing license?

                                                                                              Thanks ahead.

                                                                                              1. re: theSauce

                                                                                                This applies to this region: On a charter boat, the limit is 6 per person (On a private boat, you are allowed 10 per person).

                                                                                                And you do need a fishing license on a crab-only trip which is $14 for a one-day license or $44 for the annual. I know the Huli Cat and New Captain Pete out of Pillar Pt Harbor do the crab-only trips which are $50 typically:



                                                                                              2. re: baron45

                                                                                                Interesting video. And the music left in in a jolly, holiday mood, even though I am currently, sadly, without crab.

                                                                                        2. Monterey Fish: 4.99 live, 5.99 cooked, definitely local
                                                                                          Berkeley Bowl: 5.99 live, 6.49 cooked, I was in a hurry so all I saw was "wild" on the sign and I assumed local. l I bought 4 live ones all 2+ lbs but I was a bit disappointed in quality. Only one was lively when I cooked them just a couple of hours later. Not very fatty yet either.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                            I don't think you can buy cultured crab.

                                                                                            1. re: wally

                                                                                              haha, i meant wild local vs. wild crabs from elsewhere

                                                                                          2. They were $2.99/lb for small and $3.69 for large yesterday at Pacific Mkt on Vincente near Sunset.

                                                                                            1. Tokyo Fish has them for 6.99 cooked, 5.45 live. Bought mussels for 3.99 instead. I've noticed that crab prices are usually about a dollar less that the nearby Monterey Fish

                                                                                              1. $4.00/lb. live off the Cricket at Pillar Point Harbor. Delicious.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: artychokeasana

                                                                                                  The boats in Santa Cruz harbor are not selling their crab. Only to wholesaler. I look forward to it every year. Last years price was $ 5.00 a crab. So to satisfy my craving I bought one at Whole F....

                                                                                                  Tasted old with no flavor @ $ 6.99 lb. Only live crab for me. How would I find out if they are selling crab ? Maybe Friday or this weekend. Pillar point is a nice drive.

                                                                                                  1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                    The PP harbormaster has a hotline: (650) 726-5727 that tells you crab or no crab. Unless there's a storm and boats are in or the season is getting on, there's always crab at PP.

                                                                                                    1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                                      Thank you so much for your information. I will call the harbormaster Friday. This is fantastic!

                                                                                                      1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                                        what time of day does one need to get to Pillar Point to buy from the boats?

                                                                                                        1. re: saffrongold

                                                                                                          I've gone as late as 4p, but I think you have the best chance of getting bigger ones earlier in the day. I don't know how much later than 5p the boats are selling since those guys are up and at it early.

                                                                                                        2. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                                          Do you think they'll be selling crab at ppoint on Christmas Eve? We're wanting to start a Christmas Eve crab tradition but it would be sad to start it empty handed. Thanks!

                                                                                                          1. re: miss louella

                                                                                                            I called and heard a recording that there would be crabs on Christmas Eve, but to get there early (9A) if you wanted to be sure to get some.

                                                                                                    2. Marina Market San Mateo on Monday, they were $3.69 or $3.89 a pound live (I was so excited to see it below $4 a pound I don't remember) I got one over 2 lbs, very feisty and really tasty! Today I saw Whole Foods San Mateo $6.99 lb cooked.

                                                                                                      1. Through Dec. 13, $3.99# at Oliver's Markets in Sonoma County. 2# minimum size.

                                                                                                        1. $4.50 at Monterey Fish Market. Large. lively.

                                                                                                          1. I went by Lucky Seafood in Oakland Chinatown about an hour ago. The tanks were empty but there was a sign listing $1.99/lb. The guy at the cash register confirmed the price and they were live and local. Tomorrow they go up to $2.99/lb. Reports of $2.39/lb elsewhere in Chinatown.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: ML8000

                                                                                                              If the crab boats are getting $2.25 lb, are these markets taking a loss to get people in the market ... sort of the free turkey at Thanksgiving concept.

                                                                                                            2. Koreana plaza in Oakland $2.99/lb. just got some 2 pounders

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: hyperbowler

                                                                                                                walking through SF Chinatown this afternoon - Stockton Street - saw one $2.99 pound and many other offerings in the low to mid $3.00 range.

                                                                                                              2. $3.49/lb today at Nob Hill (Raley's) in Alameda. That's for cooked.

                                                                                                                1. $4.79/lb cooked at Costco (Novato) today -- plentiful.

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                    $4.49/lb cooked at the SFO Airport Costco today in packs of two and three.

                                                                                                                    1. re: baron45

                                                                                                                      In Novato they had a guy manning three huge ice-filled tanks. Also saw packaged duos in refrigerated case.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                      Were the Costco crab fresh? The ones at my Costco (Redwood City) say "previously frozen"...

                                                                                                                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                                                        I wasn't looking that closely, but saw no such sign. We didn't buy any so can't attest to taste...

                                                                                                                        1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                                                          If the crabs were part of the seafood roadshow, probably not fresh. I once asked a butcher at Costco what the difference was between the frozen package scallops in the freezer and the ones in the fish case/road show. He said both were previously frozen but the road show might be fresher. He then asked if I wanted a frozen bag of the roadshow scallops and pulled one from the back, weighed it and priced it. I have to say the butchers at Costco are excellent if they're not busy.

                                                                                                                      2. $3.99 on wednesday at sun fat. Crabs were from bolinas and very feisty and, ultimately, tasty

                                                                                                                        1. Went down to Oakland Chinatown today. Lucky Seafood Supermarket on the north side of 8th Street between Franklin and Webster has crabs for $2.99/pound. A fair number of tanks with a fair number of people buying.

                                                                                                                          Orient Market (the biggest supermarket in Chinatown) has them for $3.99/pound, though they only had one tank. Yet Sun Market on the south side of 8th between Franklin and Webster has them for $3.49, and business was brisk. They even set up a little tank on the street with an oxygenator and everything.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: timeo

                                                                                                                            A bit late, but Tin's market yesterday had a lot for $2.99 also.

                                                                                                                            And the market on 7th and Webster (Surf&Turf?) had it for $3.19

                                                                                                                          2. Just bought two at Raley's/Nob Hill for $3.49/lb. The crab were a little banged up, many missing one of their primary claws. But since I was making crab cakes, that didn't matter to me this time. They threw in some loose legs. If they do that for you, make sure they weigh it before the loose legs gift. Otherwise you are just paying for more shell. So I ordered two to be cleaned (no cracked as I do that myself). I picked one off the scale and smelled it. It was OK. Got home and cleaned them. I bought 3. 03 lbs of crab and got just over 1 lb of meat. One of the crabs, the texture of the meat was fine. They other one it was a little mushy. But I proceeded.

                                                                                                                            Made my crab cakes and they are setting up in the refridge for tomorrow. They should be great. Had I just been eating the crab, I wouldn't have been totally happy with the quality. As the texture was just not quite right. Though they smelled fresh. Looking forward to tomorrow's dinner!!!

                                                                                                                            1. In Vacaville

                                                                                                                              Cooked, at Costco; $4.49/lb. Two crabs were $15.72.

                                                                                                                              Live, at Country Square Market , $3.99/lb. Four crabs were $36.31.

                                                                                                                              Country Square Market
                                                                                                                              510 Contra Costa Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                Concord - Ranch 99 $3.99/lb tonight....they did not look very large though

                                                                                                                              2. Bought two lively dungeness crab yesterday for $4.50 per pound at Monterey Fish Market in Berkeley. The clerk placed the crab in a paper bag stapled shut, then a plastic bag to contain the wetness. They were succulent for dinner last night. This was my first time cooking live crab. I watched several videos on the web where they show how to kill and clean the crab before cooking. I am not good with knives nor have strong hands to break a crab in half. But, boil water - that I could do. I boiled salted water (lidded the pot to get a good rolling boil) in a large stock pot and put the crab in for 18 minutes. The crab expanded their legs as soon as pulled them out of the bag. I thought I would have a hard time reaching in the bag for them and putting them in the pot with their legs all stretched out - but it really was not a problem. After the timer rang I checked the pot, and found nicely red shells just like the cooked crab in the market. I cooled them in the sink and clean them as the videos showed. It actually did not take as long as I thought it would. Boiling didn't stink up the house either - another concern I had prior to entering this brave new world. Like I said - they were so tasty. I'll never buy cooked crab again.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: eatumhot

                                                                                                                                  I have not been brave enough to try steaming a crab again after my first try was a disaster. Some people have told me I should just boil it. Maybe I'll try your method. (You keep a rolling boil for 18 minutes with the lid on??)

                                                                                                                                2. They were $5/lb. from Carapace at the Berkeley farmers market today.


                                                                                                                                  1. $4.69 lb. today at Lucky Seafood. I'm presuming prices are on their way up due to the impending holiday, but I don't regret the purchase. I got 4 crabs, each about 2 lbs (total came to just under $40), and they were very angry about their removal from the tank. It was my 2nd time having crab this season, and these were fan. tas. tic.

                                                                                                                                    Lucky Seafood Market #1
                                                                                                                                    1201 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94606

                                                                                                                                    1. $5.99 at Richmond Ranch 99 today. Tanks were filled to the top with crabs.

                                                                                                                                      1. Anyone selling crab off the dock? SF or other?

                                                                                                                                        When they were striking for $2.50 a pound, I was thinking they should just sell it for $3 a pound at the dock. Should have plenty of customers.

                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bryan Gros

                                                                                                                                          Live crabs direct from the boat:

                                                                                                                                          Pillar Point (Half Moon Bay): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822676

                                                                                                                                          Emeryville: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8224...

                                                                                                                                          Paisano Bros. in Bodega Bay

                                                                                                                                          Paisano Brothers Fisheries
                                                                                                                                          1820 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                            Thanks, Robert - I've not bought from the boat, in fact, I've only bought cooked and cleaned from Safeway, etc, in the past, but after reading the Dungeness threads since last year, It's time to try the real fresh crab!

                                                                                                                                            I'm in Petaluma - if I head out to Paisano Brothers in Bodega Bay on Saturday morning, what time should I get there? I plan to ice them and cook them Saturday evening - (any tips are appreciated!)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DpBluSea

                                                                                                                                              You know, live crabs are sold at the Sonoma marina right off the boat.

                                                                                                                                              Also, have you even checked to see if there is anything going on crab-wise at the Petaluma marina.

                                                                                                                                              A search came up with Leonard's bait and tackle selling crabs in the past. You might give them a call to see if they have live crab or know of boats in Petaluma that sells them

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DpBluSea

                                                                                                                                                I go to the bait shop at Port of Sonoma, on 37 near the Lakeville Highway stoplight the other commenter mentioned There is a sign on 37 that will say if they have crabs. They have live crabs for $6.50 per pound. They do have crabs, but might close early on Saturday. I have bought them from for years (and this year). A lot closer than Bodega Bay.
                                                                                                                                                Re: cooking. They will wrap them well, so you probably don't need ice to go back to Petaluma. Keep in fridge till you cook them. I always boil them. Save the fat, tomaly, the yellow stuff in the belly. Sautee some garlic, heat some butter, add the yellow stuff. Season and toss with linguine and parsley. Great way to stretch the crab and makes a delicious side dish. My sis is doing this right now! Yum.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DpBluSea

                                                                                                                                                  Besides Leonard's Bait & Tackle, give G & G Supermarket in Petaluma a call. I've only been to the Santa Rosa branch of G & G, but maybe Petaluma is the same. The crabs come from Bodgega Bay. Usually all of them go into the steamer and are sold cooked. But if you call the day before, Santa Rosa has held back a couple for me to buy live.

                                                                                                                                                  G & G Supermarket
                                                                                                                                                  701 Sonoma Mountain Pkwy # E1, Petaluma, CA

                                                                                                                                                  Leonard's Bait & Tackle
                                                                                                                                                  260 Sears Point Rd, Petaluma, CA

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                    I have the Wednesday Press Democrat's Food & Wine section open in front of me and the G& G grocery ad has Fresh Local Wild Dungeness crab for $4.99 lb. this week at both locations in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.
                                                                                                                                                    I've purchased crab In Sonoma, at Sonoma Market: http://www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com/se...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                      Here's the ad, and it says cooked or live.

                                                                                                                                                      G & G Supermarket
                                                                                                                                                      1211 W College Ave, Santa Rosa, CA

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                        You ChowHounds are the greatest! G & G is right across the 101 from me and that's going to be a lot more convenient on Saturday !!! Decent price - too! Thanks so much!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                          G & G Petaluma worked out great - crabs were not big (about 1.5 lbs?) but they were delicious! Thanks again for great info, Chowhounds!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                                                                        I'll second the Petaluma G&G. They have thier own crab boats and typically have plenty of live scrappy ones on hand.

                                                                                                                                                2. $4.99/lb. for live crab in SF Chinatown this morning.

                                                                                                                                                  1. As of Jan 12, the price for live dungeness at Cupertino Ranch 99 was back up -- way up, to 6.99/lb.

                                                                                                                                                    I think I'll wait until the North Coast fishery kicks in next week.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Carapace Fishing of Oakland was selling live crab for $6/lb last Saturday, 1/7/12, at Temescal Alley in North Oakland on 49th Street, 1/2 block east of Telegraph Ave, around the corner from Pizzaiolo.

                                                                                                                                                      According to their Facebook page, they are pulling their gear and it's the end of the season for them. They also sold at Old Oakland Farmers' Market on Fridays and other farmers' markets.


                                                                                                                                                      Carapace Fishing Facebook page:

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zippo

                                                                                                                                                        "According to their Facebook page, they are pulling their gear and it's the end of the season for them"

                                                                                                                                                        Asses, man........

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                          Today at Alioto-Lazio I paid $5.50 lb. for 2 enthusiastic specimens of 2.25 lbs. each. I am cooking them per La Melanie's instructions, steaming them individually.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                                                            That was supposed to be awww, man.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Glencora

                                                                                                                                                                As opposed to " asses, man......" in my post 23 hours ago. Autocorrect .

                                                                                                                                                        2. Monterey Fish was selling cooked local crab for $8.99/lb last week. They looked smaller than 2 lbs, maybe 1.5 lbs. I didn't check for live. They say they bring in local crab whenever they can get it all the way until June when the season ends. I also saw them at BBowl for same price, but not sure if local.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                                                                                                                            They had small live crab last week for 7.99. Missing legs.