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Jonah crab (Cancer borealis)

Jonah crab
Jonah crab

Scientific name for Jonah crab

Cancer borealis

Common name(s) for Jonah crab

Jonah, Atlantic Dungeness

Market name

Jonah crab

Other language names for Jonah crab

  • French: Crabe
  • German: Bogenkrabbe
  • Italian: Granchio
  • Japanese: Kani
  • Spanish: Cangrejo

Introduction to Jonah crab

Not long ago, lobstermen throughout the New England and Canadian Maritimes beaches routinely tossed back Jonah crabs caught in lobster traps. However, when demand for an alternative to established and costly crab species grew in the 1990s, fishermen found a new income stream by exporting Jonah crabs to interested processors. Crabs are becoming more popular on menus and in shop displays throughout the country. Canada, Maine, and New Hampshire all have a significant presence in the supply chain. Jonahs are landed year-round by inshore and offshore lobster boats. They occur across Nova Scotia and northern Florida, but are most prevalent between Georges Bank and North Carolina. Jonahs and rock crabs (C. irroratus) are extremely closely related, and the two are often mistaken in the marketplace. In comparison to rock crabs, jonahs are bigger and have larger claws, with an average carapace width of 7 inches.

Product Profile for Jonah crab

Jonah crabs are oval in form and have larger claws than Dungeness crabs. Their shells are reddish in color and have a white underside. Cooked meat is white with brownish-red accents, whereas raw flesh is transparent white. It’s flaky and delicious, and it’s frequently likened to Dungeness or stone crab, albeit it’s darker and thicker in texture. Processors and food makers that “mix” the less costly flesh with Dungeness or blue crab meat are the main market for Jonah crab.

Nutrition for Jonah crab


Calories: 107
Fat Calories: 14.5
Total Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 71 mg
Sodium: 286 mg
Protein: 16 g
Omega 3: N/A

Cooking tips for Jonah crab

Soups, stews, dips, stuffings, and crab puffs and cakes all call for crab meat, and Jonah crab may be used in nearly any dish that asks for crab meat. With butter, lemon, and herbs, large Jonahs create a delicious cracked-crab entrée. Place live crabs in boiling salted or saltwater for around 6 minutes per pound to cook. Meat may be removed from the legs and body of the crab once it has cooled.

Cooking methods for Jonah crab

Boil , Steam

Primary Product Forms for Jonah crab

Live

Fresh: Whole cooks, Meat (also pasteurized), Cocktail claws, Snap-’n-eat claws

Frozen: Whole cooked, Meat (also pasteurized), Whole claw and arm, Cocktail claws, Snap-’n-eat claws

Global Supply for Jonah crab

Canada, United States, Iran