Tag Archives: Crab

Crab Species 2: Red King Crab/Tarabagani

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Tarabagani or Red King Crab is caught in Autumn and Winter.
It is the most coveted of the commercially sold king crab species, and is the most expensive per unit weight. It was named after the colour it turns when it is cooked rather than the colour of a living animal, which tends to be more burgundy.

Red king crabs can be very large, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 ft (1.8 m) [2]. It is most commonly caught in the Bering Sea and Norton Sound, Alaska, and is particularly difficult to catch, but is nonetheless one of the most preferred crabs for consumption.

The King Crab is native to the Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean, around the Kamchatka Peninsula and neighbouring Alaskan waters.
In Japan it is caught in the Japan Sea and neighbouring Okhotsk Sea.

In Japan 100 tonnes are caught every year, whereas 40,000 tonnes are imported, mainly from Russia!

There are so many way to enjoy this great crab!
Here are a few examples:

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Boiled as Sushi Nigiri of course!

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Even more extravagant, raw as sushi nigiri!

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Just plain boiled on a bowl of freshly steamed rice. My favourite for its extravagant simplicity!

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As Chirashizushi should please anyone!

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And how about a great soup with miso!

Naturally, there are more ways, including grilling!
I will leave it to your imagination! LOL

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Crab Species 1: Snow Crab/Zuwagani

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(Male Snow Crab)

Snow Crabs, or Zuwagani in Japanese are very popular not only in Japan, but also in Russia, Canada and many other countries.

In Japan, they are also known under the following names: Matsubagani, Echizengani and Yoshigani.
The females are also called Seikogani, Megani or Koubakogani.
They are caught mainly in Autumn and Winter.
Their number have decreased in the Japan seas down to a yearly catch of 5,000 tonnes while 60,000 tonnes are imported from Russia and Canada.

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(Female snow Crab)

Male and female snow crabs are equally succulent, but the males contain more flesh and are accordingly more expensive.

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The “thorns” of a male snow crab are bigger.

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The “teeth” of a male snow crab are triangular in a seesaw shape.
The female “teeth” are in a straight line.

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The underbelly of a female snow crabis flatish.

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When buying a female (10 tmes as cheap) snow crab, choose a specimen with as few eggs as possible. Above speciman just has too many!

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A female snow crab should contain plenty of succulent orange egg sacs (the eggs not yet “born”). Otherwise, there is very little reason to buy any!

Crabs can be eaten in many ways, even raw, but my favourites are on sushi!

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Male Snow crab leg Sushi Nigiri.

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Female snow crab Sushi Nigiri and its egg sacs!

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Avocado and Crab Gratin/Gratin d’Avocat et de Crabe


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Today is the second of January, and as I generally cook on holidays, I proposed the following to the Missus:

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As my other half loves gratinsin any form, it was not difficult to convince her!
I’m not going to burden you with numbers, so here is the recipe, which I tried to keep simple and calorie-light!

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I used bout a quarter of a yellow (yes, you heard it!) cauliflower grown locally in Asabata, Shizuoka City, cut it small enough pieces and cooked them the Missus’ way, that is, I put them in a non-stick frypan with half a centimetre of water and cocered it with a glass lid. I switched on the fire to medium and waited the water to boil. As soon as it started boiling I turned the fire to minimum, cooked the cauliflower for one minute, switched off and let it covered for one more minute. I then drained completely and held it under running cold water for a few seconds to cool down, then put them aside in a strainer.

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I used a medium-sized avocado, cut it into two halves, took off the large seed by stabbing it with the “talon” of a kitchen knife and twisting it out.

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I peeled the avocado and brushed both halves with lemon juice.
Next I used the equivalent of a small tin of crab meat, added some lemon juice and some sweet wine wine to it. I mixed the lot and quickly pressed the juices out. I filled both halves of the avocado with some crab meat. I kept the juices for the bechamel sauce.
I chopped a good quantity of Italian parsley and put it aside.

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I buttered the inside of two glass oven dishes, put the avocado halves in the middle upside down, arranged the cauliflower around it and garnished the top of the avocado halves with the remaining crab.

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I prepared the bechamel (white) sauce by making a roux with 50 g. of butter, two large spoons of flour, then added the crab juices, 200cc (one cup) of milk, 80 cc of sour cream. When the bechamel had “caught”, I added salt, pepper, theme, nutmeg and four spices and dropped in the chopped Italian parsley.
I spread the bechamel sauce allover the dishes and let it cool completely. This way the bechamel sauce will not “run out” inside the oven. I sprinkled the lot with cheese and baked it the oven at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes (or until it attains the colour needed).

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We ate it with a salad just out of the oven.
I chose a fairly firm avocado on purpose for better effect when cutting it out with my spoon, but it’s up to your taste.
I’m sure anyone can improvise and improve on that!