American Oceans

Can You Eat Horseshoe Crab and How Does It Taste? 

The horseshoe crab is a unique creature. It is not a crab in the traditional sense but is more closely related to spiders and scorpions. One question people often ask, can you eat horseshoe crab?

Horseshoe Crab

Despite its name, the horseshoe crab is not a crab at all. It is a marine arthropod found in shallow coastal waters and is safe to eat.

The horseshoe crab has a hard shell that has a horseshoe shape. It is dark brown and can grow up to 20 inches long.

The horseshoe crab is an ancient species that has been around for over 450 million years. So it’s no surprise that it is also a favorite for human consumption. 

Do People Eat Horseshoe Crabs and Is It Safe?

The horseshoe crab is edible. People in some parts of the world eat horseshoe crab as a delicacy. The meat is white and has a texture similar to lobster.

Spicy Horseshoe Crab Egg Salad
Spicy Horseshoe Crab Egg Salad

However, the horseshoe crab is not popular to eat everywhere. In some parts of the world, it is considered a pest.

The horseshoe crab is popular in Asian countries. Not only do people eat the meat of the horseshoe crab, but they also consume their eggs.

However, eggs pose some health risks because toxins can be found in them. The eggs can have neurotoxin and tetrodotoxin. Therefore, people should prepare horseshoe crab eggs with care.

What Does It Taste Like?

The flesh of the horseshoe crab is meaty, although there is little meat to find. The texture can be rubbery.

cooked Horseshoe Crab

The meat has an acquired salty aftertaste, turning many people away. The eggs have a coastal taste, not necessarily fishy.  

Can You Eat Horseshoe Crab Raw?

Horseshoe crab meat is generally safe to eat raw as long as the crab is fresh and properly handled.

As with any seafood, it is essential to exercise caution when consuming raw horseshoe crab meat, as there is a risk of food poisoning. 

How To Cook Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe crab comes with little meat, so you must do careful preparation. As with many kinds of seafood, certain body parts can contaminate edible meat.

grilled seafood horseshoe crab

You must remove organs like the liver to reduce the chances of poison. After this, grilling or stewing are popular ways to cook horseshoe crab.

Horseshoe Crab Recipes

Beyond grilling, horseshoe crab can be pickled, stir-fried with veggies, or used in soups. Horseshoe recipes do well with bold spices and herbs such as lemongrass, vinegar, chili, and bay leaves. 

Horseshoe Crabs with Bell Pepper

  • Boil a well-prepared horseshoe crab in the water.
  • Prepare fresh veggies: scallions, garlic, green, yellow, and red bell peppers.
  • Chop the veggies and saute them in a wok or similar pan.
  • Add the horseshoe crab meat or eggs and saute for ten minutes.

Is It Safe to Eat Horseshoe Crab?

So, can you eat horseshoe crab? Horseshoe Crab is a delicacy commonly eaten in Japan and Taiwan. While the crab does not have a lot of meat, chefs often add eggs to vegetable dishes.

The horseshoe crab has little toxins and is safe to eat. However, you should prepare them carefully to ensure no meat contamination.

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