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Course: Mains
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Healthy, Seafood, Steamed Alaskan King Crab Claws, Valentine's Day

Steamed Alaskan King Crab Legs

ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 11 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
How to steam juicy Alaskan king crab legs in the microwave.
Given their less-than-convenient size and shape, and the location of the fisheries, most snow and king crabs are cooked, dismantled, and flash frozen as soon as they get to the processing plant, which is usually aboard ship. If the shell is orange or red, you also know that they've been cooked, and most have.
Now, I don't have a problem with this, given the fact that crab is extremely perishable. What I do have a problem with is stores selling them in a thawed state, which just restarts the countdown timer on decay. It's like throwing someone a culinary grenade; odds are, it's going to go off before you can do anything with it.
So, if king and snow crab legs have already been cooked and frozen, "cooking" them is really just a matter of reheating, and in reheating we have two goals:
1. To bring the consumable to a temperature that is both pleasingly palatable and safe from a microbial standpoint, which, to my mind, means reaching 145° to 160°F.
2. To lose as little moisture as possible.
This recipe first appeared in Season 7 of Good Eats.
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  • 3 cooked Alaskan king crab legs, broken into 2 sections each
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 11 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


  • Tear off a 30-inch-long piece of plastic wrap. Thoroughly moisten two paper towels and stack them one upon the other on the wrap.
  • Lay the leg sections on the paper towel, along with the dill. Wrap the paper towels around the leg sections, then wrap in the plastic, forming a nice, tight parcel. You shouldn't be able to see any of the shell peeking out.
  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and unwrap carefully, then serve immediately with ghee.
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