What Does King Crab Taste Like?

Have you ever wondered about the taste of King Crab? Its sweet and mild taste, often compared to lobster, is a delight for seafood lovers and a pleasant surprise for those new to it.

King Crab offers firm and flaky meat that holds its shape when cooked. It’s a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture that leaves a lasting impression on your palate.

In this article, we’ll explore its taste, texture, appearance, and the various ways it can be enjoyed.

How Does King Crab Taste?

Imagine biting into a piece of King Crab. You’ll first notice its sweet and mild flavor, a blend that tastes like lobster. But it’s not just about the flavor. The richness that King Crab brings to the table sets it apart from other seafood.

What Does King Crab Taste Like

Now, think about the texture. The meat of King Crab is firm and flaky, providing a satisfying contrast to its delicate flavor.

When you bite into a piece of King Crab, you’ll notice how the meat holds its shape, offering a pleasing resistance before it yields to a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

cooked king crab legs on ice

This texture, combined with its unique flavor, makes every bite of King Crab a very sought-after delight during special times of the year.

Varieties Of Edible King Crab

King Crab comes in several varieties, each with its own unique taste and texture:

  • Red King Crab: This is the most popular variety, known for its large size and sweet, rich flavor. The meat is succulent and has a slightly briny undertone.
  • Blue King Crab: Slightly smaller than the Red King Crab, it has a sweet flavor that is a bit milder than its red counterpart. The meat is tender and juicy.
  • Golden King Crab: The smallest of the three, the Golden King Crab has a delicate flavor that is less sweet than the other varieties. Its meat is firm and flaky.

What Does King Crab Compare With?

King Crab can be compared to other seafood in terms of taste and texture:

  • Lobster: King Crab is like lobster due to its sweet and rich flavor. However, King Crab has a slightly brinier undertone.
  • Snow Crab: While Snow Crab also has a sweet flavor, it is not as rich as King Crab. The meat of Snow Crab is also less firm.
  • Dungeness Crab: Dungeness Crab has a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavor than King Crab. Its meat is tender and slightly stringy.

Does King Crab Taste Fishy?

King Crab does not have a strong fishy taste. While there is a subtle hint of the ocean in its taste, it’s not overpoweringly fishy like some seafood can be.

If you do encounter a King Crab with a strong fishy taste, it could be a sign that the crab is not fresh. Always source your King Crab from reputable suppliers to guarantee the best flavor.

Does King Crab Smell Fishy?

When it comes to the smell, fresh King Crab should have a clean, briny scent, like the sea. It should not have an overpowering fishy smell. If your King Crab has a strong, unpleasant fishy smell, it might not be fresh.

How To Eat King Crab

eating king crab

Here are some popular methods of serving and eating King Crab:

Steamed King Crab

Steaming is one of the simplest and most popular ways to prepare King Crab. The crab is usually served with melted butter and lemon wedges on the side. The butter enhances the rich, sweet flavor of the crab, while the lemon adds a touch of acidity that balances out the richness.

Grilled King Crab

grilled king crab pieces

Grilling gives King Crab a slightly smoky flavor that complements its natural sweetness. It’s typically served with a garlic butter sauce for dipping. The charred, smoky flavor from the grill combined with the sweet, tender crab meat makes for a truly delightful eating experience.

King Crab Salad

For a lighter option, King Crab can be used in salads. The sweet, tender crab meat pairs well with crisp greens and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s a refreshing way to enjoy King Crab, especially during the warmer months.

King Crab Sushi

In sushi, King Crab is often used in rolls or as a topping for nigiri. The crab’s sweet flavor and firm texture pairs well with the vinegared rice and nori (seaweed) used in sushi. Before buying, make sure that it’s actually King crab and not imitation crab.

How To Buy King Crab

When buying King Crab, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the best quality:


live king crab on table

Freshness is key when buying any seafood, and King Crab is no exception. Fresh King Crab should have a clean, briny scent, not a strong, fishy smell. The shells should be shiny, and the legs firm to the touch.


King Crab comes in various sizes, which can affect the taste and texture. Larger crabs tend to have a sweeter, richer flavor and firmer meat. However, smaller crabs can also be delicious and might be a more affordable option.


Consider where the King Crab is sourced from. Alaskan King Crab is highly regarded for its quality and flavor. If possible, try to buy from a reputable supplier who can provide information about where and how the crab was caught.

Whole or Sections

King Crab can be sold whole or in sections. Whole crabs are usually more expensive, but they can be a great option if you’re planning a special meal. Sections like legs or claws can be more affordable and easier to handle.

Other Names

Depending on the variety, King Crab may also be labeled as Alaskan King Crab, Red King Crab, Blue King Crab, or Golden King Crab.

Whether you’re buying from a grocery store, market, or restaurant, these tips can help you choose the best King Crab. Enjoying King Crab starts with buying quality crab, so take the time to choose wisely.

King Crab FAQs

Is King Crab Expensive?

Yes, King Crab is considered a luxury seafood item, and it can be quite expensive. The price will vary depending on the size of the crab and where it’s sourced from.

How Do I Know If Alaskan King Crab Legs Are Fresh?

Fresh Alaskan King Crab legs should be firm, with a shiny shell and a clean, briny scent. They should not have a strong, fishy smell. If you’re buying frozen crab legs, make sure they are properly sealed, and there are no signs of freezer burn or ice buildup.

What Is The Difference In Taste Between Snow Crab And King Crab?

While both have a sweet flavor, King Crab is richer, and its meat is firmer and more succulent. On the other hand, Snow Crab has a more delicate flavor, and its meat is less firm.

About Justin Micheal

Hey, I’m Justin and the home cook behind Food Meets Flavor. I have a passion for cooking and making food delicious. So, I started this blog to help others understand what different types of food taste like and how to make everyday meals taste even better.