Is Snow Crab or King Crab Better?


Deliciously cooked crab can be a decoration of any festive table. However, not all seafood lovers are aware of the existence of several varieties of these underwater inhabitants. Today the most popular ones are the king crab and the snow crab. They are both considered delicacies, having amazing flavor and appearance. But what is the difference between snow crabs and king crabs? Is snow or king crab better? Let’s compare their characteristics and find out.

Is snow crab or king crab better? King crab is considered better because its meat is juicier, softer, and tastier. King crab meat consists of dense and thick fibers like spaghetti and usually has a sweetish taste. Meanwhile, snow crab enjoys considerable gastronomic popularity among gourmets all over the world, too. Even though snow crab’s meat is sweet and tasty, it is a bit chewier and harder to take out the shell. That is why the king crab is considered better. 

However, snow crab is also a very tasty delicacy, so let’s compare the two crabs together.

Is Snow Crab or King Crab Better?

King Crab vs Snow Crab Meat Taste

Both king crab and snow crab are widely used in cooking. King crab meat consists of thick filaments and often has a sweetish flavor. Sometimes king crab can be salty as this depends on the water where king crabs live. Snow crab enjoys considerable gastronomic popularity among gourmets all over the world, too. Snow crab has tender, sweet but dense meat.

Snow crab meat can be found in soups, salads, and other Asian dishes. It also exists as an independent dish. This meat has beneficial properties as it contains iodine, phosphorus, vitamins E, and B12. A distinctive feature of king crabs is caviar. In size, the eggs resemble grape berries and have a lilac hue when fresh. Caviar is not harvested on purpose, because it is illegal.

So, which is sweeter snow crab or king crab? Both king and snow crabs are very sweet, but snow crab is sweeter.  Snow crabs have snow-white meat with a delicate texture and exquisite sweetish taste. King crab’s meat has a more tender, softer texture, but it sometimes can be salty because of the water where the king crab lived. Both king and snow crab meat contains a lot of protein and is virtually fat-free. 

Does king crab and snow crab taste different? King crab and snow crab taste similar, but not the same. The king crab has more delicate and tender meat, while the snow crab’s meat is chewier, denser, but sweeter. King crabs also sometimes can be a bit salty, while snow crabs are always very sweet.

King Crab vs Snow Crab Size

King crab can live up to 20 years, and by this time the width of the shell reaches 20–25 cm. The average size of the shell of a male king crab is 15-16 cm, with a leg span of 1 m. The average weight of males is 1.5-2.5 kg. The largest king crabs reach 25 cm in the width of the shell, one and a half meters in the span of the legs, and 7 kg in weight. The dimensions of the snow crab shell are from 8 to 17 cm, and it weighs 0.9–1.9 kg.

So, in general, king crabs are bigger and have shorter, but thicker legs, while snow crab has longer but thinner legs. Medium crabs will be a lot tastier than big ones. Big-size crabs are usually old and their meat is not as sweet and tender anymore.

King Crab vs Snow Crab Price

Snow crabs are usually cheaper than king crabs. Snow crabs have a longer harvest season (from November to June) and they are more common than king crabs (the fishing season is from October to January). Snow crabs cost $70 per 3 lbs, while king crabs cost $110 per 3 lbs. 

King Crab vs Snow Crab Anatomy

King crab is one of the varieties of hermit crabs, because it is quite similar to representatives of this species, but differs from them in a reduced fifth pair of limbs and an asymmetric abdomen in females. King crab is a hunting object for the inhabitants of the Far East. The average width of its shell is 15-16 cm, and it weighs from 1.5 to 2.5 kg. The color of the king crab is brownish with lilac patches on the sides, below it is yellow-white.

Snow crab is quite common in the seas of the Far East. This is precisely the crab and not the representative of the crab-like. This underwater inhabitant received its name for the presence of long thin processes on claws that resemble scissors. The dimensions of the snow crab shell are from 8 to 17 cm, and it weighs 0.9-1.9 kg.

King Crab vs Snow Crab Health Benefits

The main benefits of the king crab meat are the enrichment of the body with iodine, toning the thyroid gland, restoring hormonal levels. There is a positive effect on the cardiovascular, immune, nervous, musculoskeletal systems. Regular inclusion in the diet helps to slow down aging, stimulates digestion processes, improves the condition of hair, skin, blood vessels, and nails.

The benefits of the king crab have been proven during periods of stress, nervous disorders, deterioration of vision, anemia. After eating king crab meat, there is an improvement in mood, increased efficiency. The positive properties of the king crab include ensuring the outflow of cholesterol, restoring the water-alkaline balance, increasing muscle tone, and increasing blood flow. Also, there is an improvement in brain functions, concentration, pressure stabilization, normalization of metabolism.

Snow crab meat has a high content of copper, calcium (from 17 to 320 mg per 100 g), biologically active magnesium, phosphorus, and sulfur. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E, B12. Thiamine (vitamin B1) contained in crab meat is not synthesized by the human body and is replenished only with food. Vitamin B2, registered as a food additive E101, is recommended to protect the retina from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

Crabmeat contains up to 80% moisture; from 13 to 27% of proteins that play an important role in metabolism; 0.3 – 0.8 percent lipids; 1.5 – 2.0% of minerals and up to 0.5% of glycogen, which is the main form of glucose storage in the human body. In terms of the composition of useful components, crab meat is ahead of many products of plant and animal origin.

Crabmeat is a product rich in protein, vitamins, and microelements. Most of all, crab meat contains iodine and B vitamins, as well as calcium and magnesium. In terms of taste, the king crab is in no way inferior to sea crayfish — lobster, for example. Delicate, slightly sweetish crab meat is easily digested and has a lot of useful properties.

Crabmeat is especially appreciated as a source of protein for sports and dietary nutrition, an antioxidant, as well as a product for increasing potency, and an aphrodisiac. Crabmeat is very easy to prepare — you can boil, fry, steam, or grill it. Crabmeat is great for soup and is also used to make tender crab patties.

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