Golden King Crab Flavor Profile

Golden King Crab Flavor Scale

Golden King Crab (aka Brown King Crab) have snow white flesh with streaks of red and sweet meat with good flavor.  They are however the mildest and least sweet of the three commercial king crab species.

Brown King Crab vs Red King Crab Flavor

Brown (Golden) King Crab is the mildest and least sweet of the 3 commercial species.  Red King Crab is the most prized of the three commercially available king crab species because they are the largest and have the most potent flavor.  Blue King Crab is equally as sweet as Red King Crab but has a milder flavor.  Scarlet King Crab is very sweet with excellent flavor but the species is not abundant enough to fish commercially.

Alternate Names

Brown King Crab

Golden King Crab Description (Lithodes aequispinus)

Golden (Brown) King Crab have a shell which is golden-orange to brown in color.  They are smaller than both the Red and the Blue king crab, typically ranging in size from 2 to 3 feet from tip to tip and 4 to 8 pounds in weight.

Fresh Golden King Crab Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak fresh availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.  Frozen king crab is available all year long.  Golden king crab is a favorite of some chefs in the United States because they are available fresh rather than brine frozen for most of the year.

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


Yield Percentage and Recovery

Item To Meat without Shells Notes
Whole Crab Gold King Crab have a lower meat yield than red king crab and blue king crab.


Range & Habitat

Golden king crabs inhabit the Pacific Ocean between British Columbia and Japan with the largest population found in the waters surrounding the Aleutian Islands.  They can be found between the intertidal zone and a depth of 600 to 2400 ft (180 to 720 m).

Typical Wholesale Products

Fresh: Live, Cooked Sections, Cooked Legs, Cooked Claws, Meat.
Frozen: Cooked Sections, Cooked Legs, Cooked Claws, “Splits” (legs split down their length to expose the meat), “Select Portions” (shoulder and merus joints only), “broiler claws” (the killer claws only).
Meat options include: “merus” (IQF meat from the largest leg joint), “fancy” (combination pack of leg and shoulder meat), and “salad” (shoulder meat only).

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!

Brown King Crab Sustainability Info

As of September 2015 Seafood Watch has the following ratings:

  • Good Alternative – U.S. Pacific
  • Avoid – Russia Far East


Nutritional Information

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

* Calories/Calories from fat 144
* Protein grams 31.4
* Fat grams 1.0
* Saturated fat grams 0
* Sodium milligrams 1433
* Cholesterol milligrams 72
* Omega-3 grams na


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