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Can You Eat Horseshoe Crab? 

Horseshoe crabs are small crabs that are typically found in the Atlantic ocean along the US coastal beaches and also in certain waters around Asia.

horseshoe crab on a plate

This type of crab dates back a long time and are actually more closely related to spiders than they are to crabs.

Still, they do live in the seas and can sometimes be seen on shores. So, you may be wondering, can you eat horseshoe crab? 

Do People Eat Horseshoe Crab? 

In short, yes, you can eat horseshoe crab, but it isn’t actually the “crab” itself you would be eating. Their eggs, often called “roe,” are what you would be consuming.

Can You Eat Horseshoe Crab

Typically, the crabs are baked or grilled and people then eat the orange-colored eggs inside.

On first look, they may not appear appetizing and actually look like something out of a sci-fi movie. 

a horseshoe crab on its back

So, yes, you can eat horseshoe crab, but that doesn’t mean that you would want to. They have little food to give, and for many, they are more trouble than they are worth. 

What Does Horseshoe Crab Taste Like? 

The horseshoe crab isn’t something you’re going to see on many menus. However, in Malaysia and other parts of the world, you will spot this meal from time to time.

Spicy salad horseshoe crab egg with lettuce

They are said to taste quite rubbery, and there is a difference in taste between the orange eggs and the green ones.

It is one of those foods, as many describe, that you have to taste for yourself to see if you’re going to like it.

horseshoe crabs mating

The taste of the eggs is often hard to describe, even by those who eat them often. The texture does throw a lot of people off as it can be incredibly chewy.

Also, it is not going to taste like other types of fish eggs or caviar. It is pretty unique when it comes to flavor. 

Is It Edible? 

When you first get a look at a horseshoe crab, you’re first thought probably isn’t going to be to eat it. However, the roe, or eggs inside this crab, are completely edible.

horseshoe crab eggs on the plate

They are normally grilled or baked and then you can enjoy the eggs inside.

There are no other parts of this crab you can eat though, making it a good bit of trouble for a very small amount of food. 

Can You Eat It Raw? 

This is not something that you would ever want to attempt to eat raw. It is not going to be appetizing at all.

raw Horseshoe crab

There are, however, a lot of other types of seafood that are perfectly safe, and often delicious, for raw consumption.

When there are so many other good choices out there, there is no reason to even want to try this animal raw. 

Is It Safe to Eat? 

Yes, horseshoe crab, or rather, their eggs, are perfectly safe to eat as long as it has been cleaned and cooked properly.

horseshoe crabs in a market

You’re going to get the best experience from eating horseshoe crab at a restaurant, as the chefs there will be familiar with properly preparing them.


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It would not be recommended to attempt to prepare them on your own though as they can be quite tricky to deal with.

You can eat the eggs inside a horseshoe crab but they don’t provide a hefty amount of food and the taste is not for everybody.

a horseshoe crab in the surf

That being said, if you are feeling adventurous and want to experiment with something new, go ahead and give horseshoe crab a try.

While it may not be for everybody, there are a number of people who really enjoy them. You never know, you may really end up liking the unique taste and texture. 


  • Clearly this guy has never eaten horseshoe crab or ever attempted to open one up. There is tons of meat on one and a nice sized one can provide tons of food. The taste is actually pretty good with all different kinds of edible parts. The head you can not only find the eggs but the creamy parts too. Horseshoe crab is criminally underrated. He probably thinks sea robins really are trash fish too

  • Not all of them safe to eat. Mangrovy Edition may contain tetrodotoxin, you can’t cook it properly.