King Crab Spree

There’s something deliciously primal about preparing and eating King crab–an ingredient that requires hands-on commitment and plenty of napkins. Restaurants around town are on their annual King crab spree. But only a few keep holding tanks with live crabs, which guarantees a fresh plate. The best of King Crab, six ways:

1. Our favourite take–the Kirin chain. A classic, which features the legs split and steamed with garlic, the knuckles deep-fried with spicy salt, and the shell baked with coconut curried rice.

2. Yaletown’s Blue Water Café–Chef Frank Pabst offers steamed King crab legs garnished with delicate vegetables and cracked knuckles bathed in beurre blanc.

3. Red Star on South Granville– a genius King crab. As a bonus, their Peking Duck is the best in the city, making for the ultimate Vancouver Surf and Turf (or Quack and Claws).

4. The rustic route–Richmond locals swear by Excelsior’s King crab. The room may be humble, but the crab is handled superbly.

5. For the well heeled–Landmark Hot Pot has garnered renown amongst Asian diners for having the best seafood, and a price tag to match. But you cook carefully selected King crab to your liking. The taste is sublime, and can get no fresher than at Landmark.

6. Not for the faint of heart–Fresh King crab has a subtle sweetness that must be celebrated, not masked with heavy-handed preparation. So for those willing to brave the claws, here are our tips for Alaskan King crab, the DIY way.