Can you eat spider crabs?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat spider crabs?.” We will further touch on what spider crabs are, the safety of eating them, as well as how to catch, kill, and eat them. 

Can you eat spider crabs?

Yes, you can eat spider crabs. The meat of these crabs is delicious, just like or even more than that of brown crabs, which are popularly consumed. It is said to be sweeter than most seafood that is usually consumed. 

What is a spider crab?

A spider crab is any of several decapod species from the Mijadae family or class Crustacea. They have spherical to thick bodies with long and spindly legs. 

They move slowly and sluggish while commonly scavenging dead fish. The species are widely distributed in marine waters like those of the North Pacific. 

Some can be very small in size, like the long-beaked spider crab, with a body size of 1 cm in diameter, whereas the Japanese spider crab is the biggest, with a size of about 4 metres in length. 

What does the spider crab look like?

The spider crab possesses an imposing appearance with a dark shell and spiky shell. It also has succulent white meat, which can be tasty and flavourful when cooked and is available all the time of the year. 

For this reason, several people dislike meat, not because it can be poisonous but just because of its intimidating appearance. 

Are spider crabs poisonous?

Eating spider crabs will not be a source of poisoning for you because the creatures are free from any poison. 

They may, however, cause a few gastrointestinal upset or mild symptoms if you have a seafood allergy, but there is nothing more than this. 

When to catch spider crabs?

The spider crabs are available all year round, but at a crucial time from April to August, the creatures are plentiful and you have no struggle to enjoy them. 

The spider crabs are caught in pots, making them sustainable and less of an interference with the seafloor. 

How to kill the spider crab?

Once you have a spider crab at home or any other type of crab, it would be important to kill them humanely and care for them with caution so you can enjoy a great piece of meat afterwards. To kill them, follow these steps.

  • Once you have the spider crab at hand, place it on ice to demobilise it and still keep it fresh. 
  • Start to look for the flap on the underside of the crab, whether it is male or female, with a small opening about half a centimetre wide.
  • Use a strong object like a clean stone or hammer to force the trussing spike or needle into the anal tract hole after aligning it with it and shaking it.
  • Likewise, you may remove the spike, flip the crab over, locate the mouth, and push it straight in there as well. 
  • Cook the meat in boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes per kilogram of meat, or longer if you have more of it. Then remove any spongy, greyish gills before removing your meat. 

How to eat spider crab?

The spider crabs are delicious meat from seafood that can be considered a delicacy. It is said to be sweeter than most seafood and has perfect and succulent white meat that can be cooked to perfection in different recipes

  • You can cook the delicious white meat of the spider crab and use it for flavouring pasta dishes, and they pair excellently.
  • The meat could also be an excellent addition to the sandwich.
  • The spider crabs can also be cooked as an impressive centrepiece for your dinner table. 
  • You can prepare stock or soup from your spider crab and emulsify it with butter to make a beurre blanc and add some lemon juice, chopped shallots, and chives to enjoy. 
  • Make a classic Asian salad with them by mixing crunchy vegetables like carrots, red cabbage, and bean sprouts with your cooked spider crabs and mixing them with fish sauce and sesame oil. 
  • You can also add fruits such as mango, avocado, and dragon fruit to the crab and serve. 

Remove the meat from spider crabs and break their shells and legs to make an amazing soup or stock base for other recipes. 


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat spider crabs?.” We have further touched on what spider crabs are, the safety of eating them, as well as how to catch, kill, and eat them.