What you are looking at is about 900 grams of thawed king crab from Russia. I purchased this at the three day sale at the Misakiguchi Fisheries, in Miura – the last stop on the Keikyu Line.
I departed from tradition. I always buy this kind of crab from fishermen in Kushiro who fish from Japanese waters just a few hundred miles off the northern coast of Honshu, the main island.
Crab season generally starts from Dec. and ends in early March here in Japan. King crab is sold from most major supermarket chains with the average market value per 750 grams at 3980 yen per pack. Queen crab is about 1000 yen cheaper. All of them are frozen and packed three legs and a claw with a few other minor parts added.
The three day sale that’s held every year at the Misakiguchi Fisheries has the best prices for crab. I paid exactly 5000 yen for what you see in the picture. Great price actually. I enjoyed it.
What you should look for when shopping for crab this crab season is where it was fished. If it’s from Russia then it’s frozen. Frozen crab is not as good as crab kept alive. Another thing to look at is how it’s sold. Some sellers will either steam or boil their crab. Steamed crab is always better in terms of flavor and texture. Boiled crab is good too, but some of the juice is lost from boiling. If it was frozen, thawed, and then boiled then you loose even more flavor.
Now, where can you go if you want to enjoy eating steamed and grilled crab without having to go to a fish market?? I recommend the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo. From now until Feb. 28th 2010, they will be hosting a winter crab buffet everyday. Lunch is going to be around 5000 yen per person and all-you-can-eat Zuwaigani(spider crab), plus whatever else is on the buffet counter. The dinner buffet will be 7000 yen person, but will offer all-you-can-eat king crab(taraba)! If one person eats six legs they’ll be getting their money’s worth. Both kinds of crabs will be either steamed or grilled, both ways are great!