Where do Christmas island red crabs live?

In this article, we will answer the question “Where do Christmas island red crabs live?”, and how to cook crab?

Where do Christmas island red crabs live?

Christmas Island red crabs inhabit Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean off Australia’s northern coast. This is located at about 240 miles (380 kilometers) south of Java, Indonesia.

Millions of Christmas island red crabs migrate from Christmas Island’s interior rainforests to the ocean during the breeding season. The crabs religiously follow the same migration paths every year. 

A moist body is important for the survival of Christmas island red crabs due to which they only migrate during the rainy season. A single female of the Christmas Island red crabs can lay up to 100,000 eggs.

Top crab recipes for you to try at home 

Recipe 1: Singaporean chili crab 


  • 1 large cooked mud crab (about 1.2kg)
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked, stalks reserved
  • 4 spring onions, white parts finely chopped, green parts sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 2 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3cm piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 long red chili, seeds removed, finely chopped, plus extra sliced to serve
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour, combined with 100ml warm water
  • Roti canai (optional – recipe also online), to serve

For the chili sauce 

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 small red chilies, chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks (inner core only), bruised, chopped
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 11/2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste


  1. Twist and snap the legs and claws to prepare the crab for cooking. Flip the crab and put pressure under the central body of the crab using your thumbs. When the crab breaks open, remove the spongy gills and discard them. Collect and set aside the white meat and the brown meat.
  1. Snap the large claws in two and pick out the meat. Set aside the legs, claws, and meat of the crabs and discard the rest of their body parts.
  1. Dump the coriander leaves and sliced green spring onions in a bowl filled with ice water. The spring onions will curl up after this. 
  1. To make the chili paste, grind all the ingredients along with a few saved-up coriander stalks in the food processor until coarse paste forms. 
  1. Grease a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil. Cook the chili sauce in heated oil for 8-10 minutes or until soft and colored. 
  1. Heat the leftover 1 tbsp of oil in a wok. Fry the chopped white spring onion, garlic, ginger, and chili in the heated oil for about 10 minutes. 
  1. Stir in the crab legs and claws, chili sauce, and cornflour mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Then mix in the crabmeat. 
  1. Serve alongside drained coriander leaves, green spring onions, and extra chili, with roti canai.

Recipe 2: Kiribati Crab Cocktail 


  • 1 1 b snow crab claws ready to eat sometimes found frozen
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • Or 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic


  1. Let the frozen snow crab thaw completely. Then rinse it thoroughly under cold running water.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat the thawed snow crabs in the oven for about 15 minutes. 
  1. If serving cool, let the crabs come down to room temperature. Then chill the crabs in the fridge. 
  2. Make the sauce by mixing ketchup and horseradish.
  1. If serving warm, saute minced garlic over medium heat while the crab is cooking in the oven.  Stir in the butter and heat until it is melted. 
  1. Heat the butter for a little longer if you like the taste of browned or slightly scorched butter.

Recipe 3: Sea Island Crab Fried rice 


  • 2 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (from 1 large pepper)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (from 3 stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 3 garlic cloves)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts separated (from 1 bunch)
  • 1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over
  • 4 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Brown the bacon in a 12-inch skillet. This should take about 8 minutes. Reserve the drippings in skillet.
  1. Then stir in 2 tbsp of oil, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and white parts of scallions to the skillet containing the drippings. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  1. Stir in and brown crabmeat. Add cooked rice and the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes. 
  1. Mix in parsley, green parts of scallions, and reserved bacon to skillet and serve hot.


In this article, we answered the question “Where do Christmas island red crabs live?”, and how to cook crab?



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.