When you think of seafood, one of the first things that might come to mind is crab. But which type of crab should you choose? Two popular options are Snow Crab and Dungeness Crab, each with their own unique characteristics and culinary applications. Let’s dive in and compare Snow Crab versus Dungeness Crab.
Snow crabs, also known as Queen crabs or spider crabs, are found in the icy waters of the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They are known for their long, spidery legs and sweet, succulent meat.
Snow crabs have a distinctive spidery appearance, with long, thin legs that are covered in spines and tapers down to a small, oval-shaped body. They can grow up to three feet in length, but the edible portion of the crab is generally smaller.
The meat of snow crab is sweet, delicate and mild flavoured which makes it ideal for a wide variety of cooking styles such as grilling, steaming or baking. With its flaky texture, its flavour profile can be enhanced with a variety of seasoning and spices, making it a versatile ingredient in a range of dishes.
Snow crabs are an excellent source of protein and are low in fat but high in essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc and selenium.
Dungeness crabs are named after the town of Dungeness in Washington state in the USA, and are found all along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California. They are known for their large size, meaty claws, and rich flavour.
Dungeness crabs have a round-shaped shell, with large, meaty claws that are a popular part of the crab’s meat. They can grow up to 8 inches and can weigh up to 2 pounds.
Dungeness crab meat is known for its rich, sweet flavour which is often described as nutty and succulent. With a firm and slightly flakey texture, they are popularly cooked by boiling or steaming.
Dungeness crabs are low in fat but rich in protein, vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper and zinc.
Now that we have explored the unique characteristics of Snow Crab and Dungeness Crab, let’s compare these two types of crab side by side.
Snow crab meat is generally sweeter, more delicate flavoured and has a flaky texture, while Dungeness crab meat is richer, nutty flavoured and has a firm texture.
While both crabs are available year-round, Dungeness crabs are more commonly found during the winter months, whereas Snow crabs are available all year round.
Dungeness crabs can grow considerably larger, with claws that are a popular part of the crab’s meat. While snow crabs are typically smaller, with legs and smaller bodies that are sweet and delicious.
Both Snow crabs and Dungeness crabs can be used in a variety of dishes such as soups, chowders or crab cakes. However, because of its sweet delicate meat, Snow crab is a popular ingredient in sushi or salads, while Dungeness crab is typically boiled or steamed and served with melted butter.
Dungeness crabs are typically more expensive per pound than Snow crabs, but the price can vary depending on location and season.
What is the best way to cook Snow crab?
Snow crab is versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways: steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. Steaming the crab is the most popular method to cook it to retain its natural sweetness and flavour.
What is the best way to cook Dungeness crab?
Dungeness crab meat is often steamed, baked or boiled for the best results. If boiling, add seasoning such as old bay or lemon for added flavour.
Which is healthier Snow crab or Dungeness crab?
Both Snow crab and Dungeness crab are a great source of vitamins and minerals, low calorie and rich in protein. But Snow crab has less fat, fewer calories and a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids than Dungeness crab.
Which is the best type of crab for a salad?
Snow crab is an excellent choice for a salad thanks to its sweet delicate meat and flakey texture. It enhances the flavour of the salad and gives it a nice crunch.
In conclusion, both Snow crab and Dungeness crab are outstanding and delicious options. The choice between them will ultimately depend on your personal taste preference, seasonal availability, and intended use. Regardless of which crab you choose, ensure that it’s fresh and sustainably sourced, to enjoy the full benefits of this tasty crustacean.