Koatgaetang is a hot spicy crab stew that is unforgettably refreshing in taste. Boiled with gochujang (red chili pepper paste), gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes) and various vegetables, this stew is very popular for all spicy food lovers. As its main ingredient, blue crabs are boiled with various vegetables such as chrysanthemum, green onion, radish, chilies, garlic and some times, fresh pumpkin leaves and dwenjang to enhance the main flavoring ingredient of this dish which is gochujang. In addition, other seafood such as clams and shrimps can be added to this stew to compliment with its spicy crabs.
What's great about this stew is that frozen crabs, which its flesh is slightly flakier than that of fresh ones, work extremely well. Other crabs that can be used as an alternative to blue crabs are snow and king crabs.
Cooking Tip: During summer, female crabs tend to be more expensive than male crabs because of their yellow mustard and eggs. Female crabs can be easily distinguished by their visible white "apron" displayed on their belly side. However, male crabs in the fall, tends to be meatier. At the fish market, the extra-fresh crabs look vivid, lively and ocean-clean fresh. Most crabs with broken limbs are a sign of low quality, so steer away from them. Lastly, crabs are extremely perishable and prone to bacterial contamination so be sure to buy only intact, live ones.