What Does Dungeness Crab Taste Like?
In this guide, we’re breaking down one of the most popular types of seafood into bite-sized basics: Dungeness crab. Whether you’re a devoted Dungeness crab fan or just looking to sample something new, you can look forward to learning:
- Interesting facts about this type of crab, including where it’s from
- What to expect when eating Dungeness crab
- Some of our favorite dishes with Dungeness crab
There are thousands of species of crabs in the world, but only a handful have earned spots as all-stars in the culinary world. You can choose from a wide variety of flavors, textures, and dishes with crab, especially because each type of crab is so unique.
One of the most popular types of crab for eating is the Dungeness crab. Considered one of the most prized crustaceans by chefs, seafood lovers, and fishermen alike, Dungeness crabs are a must-try for any foodie.
Get to Know Dungeness Crab
Dungeness crab – or Metacarcinus magister, if you want to be scientific – is a type of crab found along North America’s western coast. This type of crab is beloved by chefs throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a massively popular seafood delicacy.
Sporting a deep red color with white patches, Dungeness crabs can grow to be more than 10 inches wide and weigh upwards of two pounds. They live alongside the red rock crab (another seafood favorite), but Dungeness crabs are definitely the larger of the two and easy to recognize with their large, fan-shaped shell. Impressively, a considerable amount of the crab’s weight is made up of high-quality, tender body meat, making it much more desirable.
The flourishing population of Dungeness crabs means that this crab species can be safely caught without diminishing its numbers. Peak Dungeness crab season begins in November and runs through the end of June.
Where do you find Dungeness crab?
The habitat of Dungeness crabs covers the Pacific Ocean regions that stretch from Alaska to Santa Barbara, California. This makes the fishing area for Dungeness crabs incredibly large. At Angry Crab Shack, we receive live Dungeness crab from the Pacific Northwest, spanning from Oregon to Washington, and they wait for you in our live seafood tanks for peak freshness.
How are Dungeness crabs caught?
Dungeness crab is among the most sustainable fisheries in the world, and their capture is closely regulated to make sure that there is no negative impact on the species or the environment.
Usually, fishermen and women use circular pots that are baited with clams, squid, or herring to catch Dungeness crabs. In other cases, individuals dive into the water to harvest the crabs or pick them up along the beach after the tide.
What does this mean for seafood lovers that enjoy the flavorful, sweet meat from Dungeness crab? You can be confident that when you order Dungeness crab legs or meat from your favorite restaurant, it’s going to be a wow-worthy meal.
What does Dungeness crab taste like?
Dungeness crab has a distinctly sweet flavor, which many people describe as very mild and even slightly nutty. Its tender body meat is complemented by the slightly firmer leg meat, so there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
Dungeness Crab Menu Items to Choose from at Angry Crab Shack
It’s no secret that we consider ourselves to be the ultimate crab connoisseurs at Angry Crab Shack – after all, we love crab so much, we put it right in the name of our restaurants! So, when you’re browsing our menus, don’t be surprised when you see a variety of delicious crab dishes to try, including Dungeness crab.
When you’re craving Dungeness crab, here are a few ways to enjoy it at Angry Crab Shack:
Seafood Boil with Dungeness Clusters: It goes without saying that the Seafood Boil is one of the most popular dishes of all time at Angry Crab Shack, largely because it gives you a fun opportunity to “build your own boil.” Included in the types of seafood you can add to your boil are:
- A pair of Dungeness clusters (a cluster of crab legs)
- Whole Live Dungeness Crab
- Dungeness crab meat
Or, if you have your eye on another type of seafood as the star of your boil (lobster meat, maybe?), you can always add on a cluster of Dungeness crab legs. No matter how you enjoy Dungeness crab at Angry Crab Shack, it will always be fresh due to our live fish tanks!
Then, it’s up to you to decide how you want to sauce and spice your boil. You can go with a Cajun sauce and level-four heat for a super-spicy, flavorful meal, or stick with a sweet-n-tangy sauce and no spice instead. Throw in some corn on the cob and red potato, and you have a fabulous, Southern-style seafood boil.
Dungeness Crab FAQs
Want to know more about the delicacy of Dungeness crab? Here are some FAQs to satisfy your hunger for knowledge:
Where does the Dungeness crab get its name?
Dungeness crabs are named after the charming fishing village of Dungeness, located in Washington state. The Dungeness Spit is a long, narrow strip of land in the area that reaches about five miles from the Olympic Peninsula’s northern edge. It’s America’s longest natural sand spit, and a home for many Dungeness crabs.
What does “molting” mean?
Dungeness crabs molt their hard shells every year, which allows them to grow larger – just like kids move up a t-shirt size after a growth spurt! They start out very small; in fact, you could easily balance a baby Dungeness crab on just one or two fingers.
Are Dungeness crabs a sustainable seafood choice?
Many people are learning more about what it means to eat sustainable seafood, which makes this one of our most often hear questions. Sustainable fishing means that special care is taken to avoid overfishing, environmental damage, and other negative outcomes.
When it comes to sustainable fishing, Dungeness crabs are an outstanding option. The entire process of catching Dungeness crabs is done with the species’ wellbeing and environment in mind. Also, there are many regulations in place that help keep it that way – so you can feel good about enjoying a seafood dish that has been sustainably sourced.
How do you eat Dungeness crab?
Learning how to eat crab is definitely a process, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Depending on whether you order Dungeness crab legs or the entire crab, you’ll generally use a small hammer to crack the shell, peel it off, and get to the meat.
Most people like to dip the crab in butter to add an element of rich, salty flavor to the sweetmeat. Another popular way to eat it is in a seafood boil, which is how we serve it up at Angry Crab Shack!
Fresh Dungeness Crab Available for Lunch or Dinner Tonight at Angry Crab Shack
Craving some crab after reading this? We know that we are!
Luckily, perfectly cooked crab just happens to be our specialty at Angry Crab Shack. You could be enjoying Dungeness crab as soon as your lunch break today, or even at dinner tonight with the family. We’ll take care of top-quality sourcing crab and cook it to fantastic, flavorful perfection – all you have to do is sit down, relax, and enjoy!
Come to your neighborhood Angry Crab Shack to sample the deliciousness of Dungeness crab today!
Featured Image: Lisa Pastushok/Shutterstock