Can you eat coconut crabs?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat coconut crabs?” and the information on the cooking techniques used for coconut crabs.

Can you eat coconut crabs?

Yes! Consumption of a coconut crab is possible. On many islands, the coconut crab is considered a delicacy, but its continued existence is in jeopardy in certain regions as a result of excessive harvesting and poaching.

What kind of creature is a coconut crab?

To claim that coconut crabs are enormous would be an exaggeration for sure. The coconut crab is the largest crustacean that spends its whole adult life on land, according to a record that was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. It is also the largest land-dwelling arthropod, which is a class of invertebrates that comprises a wide variety of animals such as insects, spiders, and centipedes.

Coconut crabs can reportedly live for up to 60 years and reach sexual maturity at the age of five, according to some accounts. After the completion of the mating season, which lasts from May to September, the females will deposit their eggs in the surrounding water.

After hatching, the larvae remain in the water for about four to six weeks, during which time they move on floating coconuts, logs, or other rafts, where they breed and reproduce. They eventually undergo metamorphosis into glaucophane, which are animals that resemble shrimp and descend to the ocean floor in search of an appropriate snail shell with which to defend themselves from potential enemies. After that, they will move closer to the beach where they will remain for four weeks close to the high tide line before maturing into juvenile crabs.

How does one go about cooking coconut crab?

Follow the given steps to cook coconut crab:

  • To begin, it is essential to have an understanding that the front claws of a tarantula are quite powerful, and that the tarantula uses these claws to break apart the fibrous shell of a coconut. 
  • After bringing a big saucepan full of salted water to a boil (one great recipe calls for a mixture of half saltwater and half freshwater), add the live crab, cover, and continue to cook for ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the size of the crab.
  • Remove the crab from the water and set it down somewhere else. Make sure to check on the crab periodically; it is ready to eat when it has grown a gorgeous red hue, as seen in the main shot. If you overcook it, the abdomen will split open, spewing the oily contents into your water and creating a tremendous mess. If you undercook it, the abdomen will remain closed.
  • Take the crab out of the saucepan and put it somewhere else where it can cool down for 15 minutes.
  • The crab’s tail resembles the tail of a spiny lobster, however, unlike the tail of a spiny lobster, it does not contain any flesh or meat. The consistency is similar to that of an insect’s abdomen; it is mushy and gummy, and it is stuffed with a thick liquid or paste that the natives in the area regard to be delicious. 
  • Perform a twisting motion while simultaneously pulling the abdomen away from the rest of the body.
  • When you apply pressure to the abdomen at this time, a light brown paste will emerge out of the hole. This paste is now ready to be used as a sandwich spread on a piece of fine bread. It is slightly bitter and has a flavor similar to coconut, it is a taste that must be learned and perfected through practice.
  • In the same manner, as with any other type of crab or lobster, cut the body into pieces and remove the legs and claws. At the spot where the legs and torso of one of the figures meet on the plate, some flesh can be seen. You’ll need to disassemble the plate and the main body to get to the meat. The flesh has a distinctively coconutty flavor, a texture that is soft and delicate, and a flavor that is only slightly sweet.

What about the strength of a coconut crab?

Those of you who have ever attempted to crack open a coconut will have some understanding of how challenging it may be. Coconut crabs are equipped with two huge and powerful pincers, which allow them to easily pound and tear their way through the thick shell of a mature coconut.

People who try to pick up the animals from the front rather than the back run the risk of becoming familiar with crab pincers. The pincers of coconut crabs feature a serrated edge, which is widely known as a “tooth,” because this edge serves as teeth on the front claws of coconut crabs. They are employed to crack open coconuts.


In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat coconut crabs?” and the information on the cooking techniques used for coconut crabs.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.