We’re not sure when seafood and Christmas became synonymous, but we’re not complaining, since seafood is always a favorite around our house. It’s all the better when Aldi speaks our language with its own parade of shrimp, crab legs, lobster tails, and other fun takes on the ocean bounty.
Orca Bay King Crab comes in a 1 pound (16 ounces) packet for $16.99. Given that, in our area, king crab currently runs $20-25 a pound, the Aldi king crab is more than competitively priced. Interestingly, though, where Aldi sells snow crab under its own Sea Queen house brand, the king crab is sold by Orca Bay, a company out of Washington state that sells its products in a number of different stores, including some regional grocers in our area.
The crab comes fully cooked but frozen, and advises to keep it frozen until you’re close to eating it. The package instructions have both frozen and thawed crab, but if you want to thaw, the packaging gives you two options there. You can either refrigerate 8-24 hours or until completely thawed, or you can quick thaw by placing the crab into a large bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes.
Once thawed, you can either bake, steam, or grill the crab. To bake, you preheat the oven to 400 degrees, arrange the crab legs on a cookie sheet, and then bake until heated through: 6-8 minutes for thawed, 12-6 minutes for frozen. To steam, you bring 1/2 to 1 inch of water to a boil, then place the crab in a vegetable steamer and steam, covered, until heated through: 6-7 minutes if thawed, 12-14 minutes for frozen. Finally, to grill, you preheat the grill to medium high, arranging the crab legs in a single layer and then grilling until heated through: 3-6 minutes for thawed, 10-12 minutes for frozen.
We actually don’t use any of those methods ourselves — we generally boil the crab for 5-7 minutes directly from frozen. But feel free to do whatever works for you.
Taste-wise, the king crab was excellent. It had a nice flavor (we describe king crab as just a little “sweet,” and this very much tasted like king crab we’ve had before), and it came right out of the shell like we expected it to. In all ways, this crab was a win. One reminder, though: make sure you’ve got crab crackers, and maybe some other crab-related tools, since king crab in general can be a little hard on the fingers. It’s worth it, but also be aware that if your only experience up to now is snow crab, this is a little harder to get at.
Just as it did with snow crab, Aldi king crab is a winner. It tastes great, is easy to prepare, and is priced better than most other places we know of. If you are in the mood for a more expensive crab leg, this is definitely worth a look. Highly recommended … but remember to have your crab-cracking tools at the ready.