Blue King Crab Flavor Profile

Blue King Crab Flavor Scale

Taste-wise, Blue King Crab rates a close second to true Red King Crab. They are equally sweet, but Blue King Crab has a slightly milder flavor than Red.

Blue King Crab vs Red King Crab Flavor

Blue King Crab is equally as sweet as Red King Crab but has a milder flavor. Brown (Golden) King Crab is the mildest and least sweet of the 3 commercial species. Scarlet King Crab is very sweet with excellent flavor but the species is not abundant enough to fish commercially.

Alternate Names

Blue King Crab jpgThis image by Andrew Butku is licensed

King Crab, Alaskan King Crab, Blue king crab, Brown king crab (Golden king crab), and Hanasaki crab are all marketed as King Crab.  Crab as prepared on sushi menus is called Kani.

Blue King Crab Description (Paralithodes platypus)

Live Blue King Crab is brown with royal blue highlights. However, they turn a bright orange-red when they are cooked.  Red King Crab is red when cooked, not orange-red.  They reach a size of up to 18 pounds and 6 feet (1.8 meters) from leg tip to leg tip, but average weight is about 6 pounds.

Blue King Crab Commercial Fishing Season

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.  Frozen King Crab is available all year long.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


Range & Habitat

Blue King Crab inhabit the cold North Pacific waters, from British Columbia to the Bering Sea and from the Aleutian Islands to the Sea of Japan, especially the waters around St. Matthew Island and the Pribilof Islands.  They can be found anywhere between the intertidal zone and a depth of 600 feet (180m).

Typical Wholesale Products

Fresh: Live, Cooked Sections, Cooked Legs, Cooked Claws, Meat.
Frozen: Cooked Sections, Cooked Legs, Cooked Claws.

King Crab legs are graded by the number of legs per 10 lbs.
Standard counts are: 6-9, 9-12, 12-14, 14-17, 16-20, 20-24, and 20-up.
For example, a 6-9 means there are 6 to 9 crab legs per 10 pounds. These are huge legs, averaging about 1 1/3 lbs. each!

Blue King Crab Sustainability Info

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has good info on King Crab.  U.S. king crab is currently well-managed; however most Alaskan king crab populations are recovering from previous over-fishing making Blue King Crab a “Good Alternative” rather than a “Best Choice.”   King crab which is imported from Russia is ranked as “Avoid.”  Currently, king crab is only a wild caught product.  But sustainable farmed king crab is being attempted and may be available in the market place in a few years.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat 144
* Protein grams 31.2
* Fat grams 1.0
* Saturated fat grams
* Sodium milligrams 1433
* Cholesterol milligrams 72
* Omega-3 grams 0



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