Can you eat European green crab?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “can you eat European crab?”. We will also talk more about European green crabs and their nutritional benefits.

Can you eat European green crab?

Yes, you can eat European green crab. Though they are smaller than the rock crab or a Dungeness, the meat of European green crab is packed with flavour and tastes like Atlantic blue crabs when cooked.

European green crabs like other crabs are a great source of protein, long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, riboflavin, copper, and phosphorus which are important nutrients to keep the human body healthy.

What does European green crab taste like?

The European green crab has a complex and delicate flavour which is enhanced by the naturally occurring umami compounds in them.

What are European green crabs?

Carcinus maenas is the scientific name for the European green crab which is also known as shore crab or green shore crab in different parts of the world. 

European green crab is an invasive species that is native to the north-east Atlantic ocean and Baltic sea but can be found in Australia, South Africa, and South, and North American coasts.

They are distinguished by the shape and size of their back shell or carapace which measures up to 4 inches across. 

The back shell is wider than the front. It has five marginal teeth next to the eyes. This number of spines is different from any other crabs.

The last pair of legs is slightly fat and have narrow claws and relatively long legs compared to the main body.

Are European green crabs really green?

Though the name suggests them to be green in colour, European green crabs are not always green. The bottom of the crab may be orange or red during moulting and the top shell is dark brown to dark green with small patches of yellow with orange around the joints.

The baby European green crabs have the tendency to change colour to match their surroundings during moulting.

Are European green crabs harmful to the ecosystem?

European green crabs are listed as the top invasive species in the ecosystem. European green crab is an invasive species that is native to the north-east Atlantic Ocean and Baltic sea but can be found in Australia, South Africa, and South, and North American coasts.

The European green crabs are a quick breeding crustacean species. The European green crabs have dramatic impacts on other species as they feed on smaller crabs, mussels, clams, scallops, and small oysters. 

These invasive European green crabs are harming the local habitats as they are efficient predators and an able coloniser.

The European green crab destroys native eelgrass by shredding the grass at its base. The native eelgrass is a critical nursery for marine life. 

The European green crab is a danger to the marine ecosystem as they are devouring the food chain at its base.

What are the nutritional benefits of European green crabs?

Great source of protein

Crab meat is the best available source of high-quality protein. The protein from crab meat is a lean protein which means lower levels of saturated fats in them. Consuming crab meat is good for a healthy heart.

Source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids

The Omega-3 fatty acids provide protection from heart diseases and aid in brain development. The long-chain Omega-3 is abundant in European green crab meat.

Source of Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is also called Riboflavin which is an important nutrient in the production of steroids and red blood cells, maintenance of skin, eyes, and the nervous system. It also plays a vital role in digestive functions by absorbing iron.

Source of copper

European green crab meat contains more copper than other fish, meat, and poultry. Copper is mainly responsible for the absorption, storage, and metabolism of iron. It helps keep the bones, nervous system, blood vessels, and immune system healthy.

Source of phosphorus

Phosphorus is vital for the proper functioning of the kidney, cell growth, and contraction of the heart muscle. It is also needed to keep the skeletal system healthy.

Source of selenium

European green crab meat is rich in selenium which is an important nutrient that plays a vital role in the functioning of the immune system, thyroid metabolism, and synthesis in reproduction. Selenium also helps prevent damage to cells and tissues.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “can you eat European green crab?”. We also talked about the different types of crab and their nutritional benefits.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

References common,crab%20or%20European%20green%20crab

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.