Are you a fan of Korean cuisine? Have you ever tried Korean Soy Sauce Crab, also known as Ganjang-Gejang?
This popular dish is made by marinating fresh female crabs in homemade low sodium soy sauce and other natural ingredients sourced only from Korea. But is it healthy?
In this article, we’ll explore the potential health risks associated with consuming raw crab and examine the nutritional benefits of Korean Soy Sauce Crab.
So, if you’re curious about this delicious dish and want to know if it’s good for you, keep reading!
Is Korean Soy Sauce Crab Healthy?
Raw crabs, including those used in Korean Soy Sauce Crab, can contain harmful pathogens such as bacteria and parasites. These microorganisms can cause various diseases and symptoms, including severe diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and even death in some cases.
However, the good news is that cooking the crab thoroughly can eliminate these pathogens and prevent these diseases. So, if you’re planning to enjoy Korean Soy Sauce Crab, make sure it’s cooked properly.
In terms of nutritional benefits, crab is a great source of protein and essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium. These nutrients are important for maintaining a healthy immune system, promoting brain function, and reducing inflammation in the body.
Moreover, Korean Soy Sauce Crab is made with natural ingredients such as homemade low sodium soy sauce and traditional soybean paste. These ingredients are healthier alternatives to chemical seasonings and acid-decomposed soy sauce commonly used in other dishes.
However, it’s important to note that consuming too much soy sauce can lead to high sodium intake, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other health problems. So, it’s best to consume Korean Soy Sauce Crab in moderation.
The Risks Of Consuming Raw Crab
Consuming raw crabs, including those used in Korean Soy Sauce Crab, can pose serious health risks due to the presence of harmful pathogens. Raw crabs may contain various bacteria and parasites, such as Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Paragonimus westermani, also known as lung fluke. These microorganisms can cause different diseases and symptoms that can range from mild to severe.
For instance, Vibrio cholerae can cause cholera, which can lead to severe diarrhea and vomiting, ultimately resulting in dehydration and even death if left untreated. On the other hand, lung flukes can migrate within the body and cause lung disease or even travel to the brain and cause meningitis. The onset of symptoms for lung fluke infection usually occurs weeks after exposure and can last for years.
Furthermore, marinating raw crabs with ingredients such as wine, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and chili cannot eliminate these microorganisms. Cooking crab thoroughly is the only way to prevent these diseases caused by these pathogens. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid consuming marinated raw crabs to prevent food poisoning.
How Korean Soy Sauce Crab Is Prepared
Preparing Korean Soy Sauce Crab, also known as Ganjang Gejang, involves several steps. The first step is to create a marinade by combining soy sauce, water, dried chili pepper, ginger, apple, dried kelp, onion, garlic, and rice syrup in a heavy pot. This mixture is then brought to a boil over medium-high heat for 20 minutes until boiling. The heat is then turned down to low, and the marinade is boiled for another hour.
Next, the live crabs are cleaned and prepared. The crabs are put in the freezer for around 10-20 minutes to put them to sleep. Afterward, they are taken out of the freezer and placed on a cutting board belly up. The apron is removed by lifting and twisting it off. The shell is then split open with one hand, and the gills are removed with a knife or fingers. Any stringy stuff such as eyes and antennae are cut off from the edge of the shell with scissors. The crabs are then cleaned thoroughly in cold running water but be sure not to wash away the tomalley (aka “mustard”). Each shell is then put back on the body it belongs to so that it looks like a whole crab.
After cleaning the crabs, they are put into a wide-mouth glass jar or container belly up. The marinade is then poured into the jar, and the crabs are pressed down with something heavy like a rock so that they remain submerged. The container is then refrigerated for 24 hours.
Once the crabs have been marinated for 24 hours, they can be served. To serve, take out a crab from the container and crack open the belly cover. Be careful not to lose any eggs or organs. Get rid of the gills using scissors or fingers. Cut the body into four pieces crosswise and place the body and shell on a plate. Drizzle marinade ganjang over the meat and shell and garnish with sliced chilies and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with steaming hot rice.
Nutritional Benefits Of Korean Soy Sauce Crab
Korean Soy Sauce Crab, also known as Ganjang Gejang, is a delicious and savory dish that is not only enjoyable to eat but also provides various nutritional benefits. This dish is made with high-quality female crabs caught in clean areas, and low-salt Korean soy sauce that is developed by the manufacturers themselves.
One of the most significant nutritional benefits of Korean Soy Sauce Crab is its high protein content. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, maintaining muscle mass, and supporting overall body function. Crab meat is an excellent source of protein, and it contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs.
Korean Soy Sauce Crab also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining heart health and brain function. These fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
In addition to protein and omega-3 fatty acids, Korean Soy Sauce Crab is also a rich source of vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, and it also plays a crucial role in DNA synthesis.
Selenium is another essential nutrient found in Korean Soy Sauce Crab. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. It also supports healthy immune function and thyroid health.
Health Considerations For Eating Korean Soy Sauce Crab
Before consuming Korean Soy Sauce Crab, it’s important to consider the potential health risks associated with consuming raw or undercooked crab. Raw crabs may contain harmful pathogens such as Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, as well as Paragonimus westermani parasites, also known as lung fluke. These microorganisms can cause severe diseases with symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and even death in some cases.
Marinating the crab with ingredients like wine, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and chili cannot eliminate these microorganisms. Therefore, it’s essential to cook the crab thoroughly to eliminate any potential risks.
Moreover, individuals with chronic liver disease, diabetes, or alcoholism are particularly prone to contracting Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, which can cause a fatal human infection. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency recommends that these high-risk groups avoid eating raw seafood and ensure that all seafood is cooked at temperatures above 85 degrees Celsius.
In addition to the potential health risks associated with consuming raw or undercooked crab, it’s also important to consider the sodium content of Korean Soy Sauce Crab. Soy sauce is a high-sodium condiment that can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other health problems if consumed in excess. Therefore, it’s best to consume Korean Soy Sauce Crab in moderation and to limit overall sodium intake.