Snow crab, like king crab, are typically imported from Alaska. For this reason, you will probably find snow crab legs sold precooked and frozen in your local grocery store, because transporting live snow crab is expensive. The best way to prepare snow crab, either fresh or frozen, is by broiling, because it will warm the delicate crab meat without overcooking it like grilling can. Children are fascinated by the shell and the intricate leg construction, which helps lead them to taste and enjoy this exquisitely flavorful centerpiece for a special family dinner.
When you choose snow crab, purchase fresh crab if you can find it. Your fresh snow crab should smell slightly sweet and briny. If the crab smells fishy or slightly foul, it is probably too old. Whether you purchase fresh or frozen crab meat, buy it from a reputable store with a clean, odorless seafood area. Cross-contamination is the leading cause of food poisoning from crab, and a fishy or foul-smelling seafood section is an indication of a poorly maintained setup.
Snow crab is sold in either lump form or as crab legs. If you purchase crab legs, cut the legs from the top of the leg where it would meet the torso to the tip of the leg. Then, brush the exposed crab meat with olive oil or butter before you broil it. The oil or butter will keep the meat moist as it broils. Similarly, if you are broiling lump crab meat from a snow crab, brush it with olive oil or butter.
Broil the crab meat for three to five minutes, depending on the size of the legs or the amount of lump crab you are serving. If the crab was fresh, you will know when it is done when the shell turns dark red and the meat is opaque all the way through. If the crab meat was frozen and sold precooked, it is ready when it is hot. Do not overcook the crab or it will turn rubbery.
Snow crab, like shrimp, is a seafood that contains a high amount of cholesterol. This doesn't mean that snow crab is bad for you or that you shouldn't serve it to your family. Overall, the nutritional profile of snow crab is positive. This crab is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which act to raise the beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. Snow crab is traditionally served with melted butter. Accompany with a crispy green salad and creamy dressing with seasoned croutons for a complete meal that's simple and elegant.