Green crab recipes?

I was just learning about how European green crabs area posing problems with our local fishing industry (eating all or clams!) and how there is a push to eat them to combat the issue.

Lo and behold a local seafood vendor, who delivers online orders, offers green crabs as a limited item, and since I love crab, I buy a few packs. Little did I know that when they described them as “smaller than blue crabs”, they really meant the crabs area like 1/3 to 1/4 of the size.

I’ve never worked with crabs this small, so my regular methods of preparing crab may not work. Looking for anyone who has ever cooked these to offer or suggest any favorite preparations and recipes. Any suggestions?


Do you have a picture of what they look like?
Are they similar to these?

I have known about this invasive species for years and yet have never eaten it. Here is an old article outta Newburyport that sounds promising.

What is the actual size of the body and the large claws?

@Sgee - from what I can see in the bags they do have a darker green body, but because they are frozen, I can’t be sure of the details until they are thawed. This is a picture from NOAA, is this helps, but it doesn’t give you a sense of size.

@Saregama - I would estimate that the size of the ones I have are roughly 2.5 to 3 inches across, and the claws are only maybe 1.5 to 2 inches. I haven’t inspected these packs closely, so if they’re are bigger ones mixed in, ai haven’t noticed them yet.

They look pretty tiny and probably not worth picking the meat. Perhaps use it as a base to flavor seafood based stews, curries or sauces?

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If the body is 2.5 to 3” across (not the whole crab), these are used regularly in India (and Asia generally, I’d guess) for everyday crab curry (medium and big crabs are much more expensive, reserved for special occasions or bought up by seafood restaurants). For eg the frozen crabs at H-mart are this size.

The “stomach” can have a good amount of meat (lump), as do the larger claws.

The little skinny claws can be ground up into the curry to thicken it, or be used for stock like the other link posted).

Here’s a representative recipe, but you could use any simple coconut curry prep. Any of the curry recipes here would be good with crab too.


I have one bag defrosted, so I can see them better. I have a few that are the 2.5-3" across, and then some that are like 2 inches across - quite tiny. Stock definitely seems like a painless way to go.

I have seen some recipes where folks are picking out the meat, but not sure I will have the patience for that. I barely have the patience for that for blue crabs!

You might check Korean applications too - I’ve seen the small ones there more than elsewhere.

Eating crab is an act of patience. You have to love it enough to do it!

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Green crab recipes.

It looks like most recipes call for using a green crab broth.

Depending on how small they are you could attempt to cook it like a Cajun crawfish boil.

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The Korean crab stew looks really good, but I keep wondering – “why does it have to be close to 100F outside right now?!” :joy:

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Curries come from places that run 100F a lot, doesn’t deter anyone :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I signed up for their email list to understand more about the green crab as an invasive. They’ve done a lot of educational outreach and added recipes -


Quick update on how pack #1 went - I ended up making a version of the Korean crab stew. The stew itself was very tasty and with a good kick (I didn’t exactly put a lot of effort in measuring the gochujang precisely). I had to double the recipe considering how many little crabs I had.

In terms of the crabs themselves, most of them were quite small. I only had about 3-4 that I would say were the 2-3 inches. Most of the crabs were about 1-1.5 inches across - itty bitty little crabs. This of course made cleaning a lot of fun :neutral_face:. Didn’t get a lot of roe or mustard in these, but the process itself is much like cleaning any other hard shell crab. Making sure to clean out the gills on the bitty ones was challenging and I have small hands! I can’t imagine an adult with normal sized hands doing this without a tool.

With them being this small, the eating part of the crab was very little meat, or not worth picking out the meat. It was often a munch on a halved crab and you get a taste but nice crab flavor, and the flavor was good. It really punched the stew up with a nice crabby flavor so that was a big win. These would be nice if you can buy them in the bigger sizes and have a proper preparation.

I have a few more bags in the freezer, and I’ll pick out the larger pieces for a dish, and the smaller ones use them for the crab stock recipe. My interest is piqued though - if they can be reliably sourced for bigger crabs, I would definitely try these again. I’m also curious about the soft shell variety referenced on a few sites; those sound like they have a lot of culinary promise regardless of size.