American Oceans

Can You Eat Hermit Crabs and How Does It Taste?

Hermit crabs are a type of crustacean that is commonly found in tropical climates. Unlike other crabs, hermit crabs do not have a hard shell and instead rely on shells found in their environment. 

a hermit crab

Hermit crabs make for good pets. However, people in some cultures also eat hermit crabs. While they are not as popular as other seafood, you can find them in markets and supermarkets in areas where they are common. 

Hermit crab meat is white, has a mild taste, and is often compared to lobster or shrimp.

Do People Eat Hermit Crabs, and How Safe Is It?

People have been eating crabs for centuries, and hermit crabs are no different. While they may not be the most popular seafood choice, they are edible. Hermit crab is a delicacy in some parts of the world. 

Little curious hermit crab in hand looking out of the shell

The main concern with eating any crab is whether or not it is safe. Hermit crabs are safe to eat if cooked well.

However, there is always a risk of food poisoning when eating seafood, so it is essential to be careful when handling and preparing hermit crabs.

What Does It Taste Like?

The hermit crab has a sweet, delicate flavor with hints of crab and shrimp. The texture is slightly bouncy, and the meat is very tender.

There is a slight sea-salty taste, but it is not overwhelming. Overall, the hermit crab is a very delicious and enjoyable seafood.

Can You Consume Hermit Crabs Raw?

If you’re thinking about eating a hermit crab, you might want to think again.

Hermit crab with claws

These tiny creatures are not only scavengers that feed on dead and decaying matter, but they can also carry harmful bacteria that can make you very sick. 

As a result, it’s not considered safe to eat hermit crab raw. Instead, you should cook hermit crab meat to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill potential pathogens.

So, if you’re looking for a seafood feast, you’ll need to find something else to add to the menu.

How To Cook Hermit Crabs

There are a few ways to cook hermit crabs. The most popular is probably boiling. This method involves placing the crabs in a pot of boiling water and cooking them for about 15 minutes. 

cooked hermit crabs at seafood market

Another popular method is steaming. This consists in placing the crabs in a steamer basket over boiling water and cooking them for about 10 minutes. 

Finally, for those who prefer a more adventurous approach, grilling is also available. This involves placing the crabs on a hot grill and cooking them for about 5 minutes per side. 

Whichever method you choose, cook the crabs until they are bright red. This will ensure that they are cooked through and safe to eat.

Hermit Crabs Recipe

The crabs should be washed thoroughly under warm running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, the stock pot should be filled with 2 quarts of water and brought to a boil. Once boiling, 1/4 cup of Old Bay seasoning and three tablespoons of salt should be added to the pot. 

The peeled garlic cloves can also be dropped into the water at this time. Finally, the hermit crabs should be placed into the pot and allowed to boil for about five minutes or until they float to the top. Check out the rest of the recipe steps on the link above.

Is It Okay To Eat Hermit Crabs?

So, Is eating hermit crab okay? The answer is yes, but only when they are cooked. While eating hermit crab isn’t common, if you find them fresh, they make a tasty and nutritious addition to your diet.

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