Can you eat a hermit crab?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “can you eat a hermit crab?” and will also share the method of cooking a hermit crab.

Can you eat a hermit crab?

Yes, you can eat a hermit crab. Even though hermit crabs are edible, they are not a common menu item. There are a variety of reasons why you are unlikely to have visited a restaurant that serves hermit crab before.

What is a Hermit Crab?

Hermit crabs, technically known as Paguroidea, are a kind of crustacean that may be divided into two different groups: those that live on land and those that live in the sea (with one species called Clibanarius fonticola, living in freshwater). Hermit crabs are found in about 800 different species, according to scientific research. They are omnivores that scavenge for food, and they have been around since the Cretaceous period. They consume small clams and mussels, algae, and pieces of dead animals, among other things.

The exoskeleton on the front of their bodies is the only part of their body that differs from that of the traditional crab. While they have a soft tail, they have a strong muscle that enables them to dig through shells and protect themselves. Although they are known as hermit crabs because they like to live alone in shells that they have found, hermit crabs prefer to live in large groups in the wild.

What is it about hermit crabs that make them such a rare food source?

It is because hermit crabs are often smaller than other crabs that they have less flesh on their bodies. Because so many people are needed to prepare a meal, they are often seen as unfit for human consumption. To get a significant amount of meat, you would need a hermit crab that is at least 4 inches in diameter.

Shemot crabs are scavengers, and they feed on algae, decaying wood, and dead animals, as well as feces, which have been discovered in their stomachs. This diet is unable to produce what you would perceive to be a delectable animal product.

Which Hermit Crab Is the Most Nutritious to Consume?

One kind of hermit crab is particularly popular in the Pacific Islands, where it is consumed in large quantities. The coconut crab is a larger species of hermit crab that may be found on the ground. There is a possibility that they will weigh almost 9 pounds and measure up to three feet in length from one leg to the other.

Though still considered a scavenger that preys on dead animals, the coconut crab got its name because it can climb coconut trees and select coconuts to eat while doing so. Nuts, seeds, and fruits are among their favorite foods.

It is said that as a consequence, their flavor is comparable to that of traditionally eaten crabs and lobster, sometimes with a hint of coconut flavoring. Their meat is sweeter and more oily in texture than that of other crabs, making them a favorite among chefs.

What Is the Best Way to Cook a Hermit Crab?

It is the same process as cooking a normal crab to prepare a hermit crab. Because they are toxic if eaten raw, they must be cooked to eliminate any germs or toxins before being ingested. No deceased hermit crabs should be consumed. They should still be alive when the food is prepared.

Immediately before cooking the crab, thoroughly rinse it and its shell under warm running water to remove any debris or dirt.

Alternatively, you may boil the crabs for approximately five minutes in salted water, or until they float to the surface. Remove all of the meat from the shell by breaking it with a seafood cracking tool after it has been cooked.


• A group of 12 hermit crabs in their native environment

• Colander 

• A large stockpot

• 2 teaspoons of table salt

• 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning (optional).

• 2 garlic cloves (optional)

• 3 pieces of bacon

• Vegetables 

  1. In a colander, carefully clean the hermit crabs’ shells under running water to eliminate any dirt or debris that may have accumulated.
  1. Approximately half-fill the stockpot with water and bring it to a boil. In a small mixing bowl, combine 3 tablespoons salt and 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning. Garlic cloves should be removed from their skins and placed in a bowl of warm water.
  1. Cook the hermit crabs for approximately five minutes, or until the crabs rise to the top of the boiling seasoned water, according to package directions.
  1. To complement the crabs, you may add your favorite chopped vegetables, such as celery, carrots, and onions. Season the crabs and vegetables with the three bacon bits once they have been cooked.
  1. Cook the crabs and vegetables for an additional 15 minutes once they have been added. Drain the mixture through a strainer and serve it soon after draining.


In this short article, we answered the question, “can you eat a hermit crab?” and also shared the method of cooking a hermit crab.