BBQ King Crab

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  • Sweet, tender BBQ king crab meat dipped into a sweet, citrusy, homemade ponzu sauce. It’s a perfect match for the summer!

    BBQ King Crab Legs with Ponzu Sauce on a plate.

    The start of the summer BBQ season around my house usually begins with BBQ King Crab Legs.  It sounds fancy, but we like to keep it simple and delicious.  We usually get our king crab legs from Costco, already pre-cooked.  So all we need to do is to throw them on to the grill to warm up and get a nice smoky flavor.  Easy right?  To enjoy the crab legs, we typically cut through one end of the joint with kitchen shears, and then trim along the two sides.  As a preference, we avoid getting the claw because it’s harder to get the meat out.

    In Japan, king crabs are called Tarabagani (タラバガニ) and one of the popular ways to eat them, is to boil or charcoal grill the crab legs, and then dip it in a tangy, citrusy soy sauce called Ponzu.  This simple and refreshing sauce goes well with BBQ King Crab Legs (and so much more!).

    BBQ King Crab on a plate.

    What is Ponzu Sauce?

    Ponzu Sauce is a mix of ponzu (citrus juice of sudachi, yuzu, and kabosu and vinegar), soy sauce, sugar or mirin, and dashi.  For a very quick version, you can just mix soy sauce, lemon juice, and mirin, but try to make the full recipe if possible to achieve a deep, umami flavor. Of course, you can buy the pre-made ponzu sauce from you Japanese/Asian grocery store, but to make it at home, here’s how to make Ponzu from scratch.

    If you are used to enjoying BBQ King Crab Legs with butter or olive oil and a splash of lemon juice, I highly recommend introducing this Japanese sauce into your BBQ meal to bring a whole new flavor to the table.   The sweet, sour, savory elements of the sauce make crab legs even more lip smackingly delicious!  And you can incorporate the sauce into other dishes at your BBQ like dressings for salads and cold noodles.

    BBQ King Crab Legs & Ponzu Sauce.  A match made for summer!

    BBQ King Crab Legs with Ponzu Sauce on a plate.

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    BBQ King Crab |
    BBQ King Crab
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins
    Sweet, tender BBQ king crab meat dipped into a sweet, citrusy, homemade ponzu sauce. It's a perfect match for the summer!
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: bbq, easy
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    • 1 lb King Crab Legs (See Notes)
    Ponzu Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsp Ponzu (See Notes for homemade recipe)
    • 1 Tbsp green onion/scallion (chopped)
    1. Preheat your bbq grill to medium heat and place the crab legs on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes on each side till the crab legs are warmed up and have some smoky flavor.
      BBQ King Crab 1
    2. Combine the ponzu and green onion in a serving bowl and serve with king crab legs.
    Recipe Notes

    King Crab Legs: Do not break king crab legs before you cook them as they could lose flavor and dry out.


    Ponzu: Homemade recipe, click here.


    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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