Here is how to make fabulous appetizer crab claws 3 ways PLUS homemade cocktail sauce to serve alongside them.
What are appetizer crab claws?
Appetizer crab claws are often referred to as crab fingers or cocktail crab claws. They are popular appetizers at steak house and seafood restaurants. They are typically listed as appetizers, but some menus include them with seafood platters.
What is the difference between crab claws and crab legs?
The main difference between crab claws and crab legs is that the crab claws are generally more savory than the legs. Crab claws have more meat and are typically fattier than the legs. For a more savory and delicious recipe, crabs claws are the way to go.
How do you make appetizer crab claws?
First, you buy fresh crab claws. Then decide whether you want to make them fried, sauteed, or steamed. Then you follow the recipe(s) below. Be sure to make a homemade cocktail sauce to serve alongside the appetizer crab claws.
Where do you buy fresh crab claws?
You can buy fresh crab claws at many grocery stores, but the best place to get them is at a seafood market. This will ensure that you get the freshest catch. Most seafood markets get daily shipments of all types of seafood.
What crab do you use for appetizer crab claws?
The crab that I use for my appetizer crab claws is usually labeled “blue crab claws” or sometimes “cocktail crab claws.” These are the smaller crab claws that have the claw at one end with exposed claw meat on the other end.
Are crab claws healthy?
Absolutely! As always, it depends on what you eat with them, but by themselves, crab claws are loaded with protein! They contain vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids. All of these make crab a pretty nutritious and energizing meal, or in this case, appetizer. Those omega 3’s and minerals found in crab are super beneficial in heart and brain health.
What is in cocktail sauce?
Cocktail sauce is a cold sauce that has ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and a little dash of hot sauce. Cocktail sauce is typically used with some form of seafood like shrimp, oysters or crab. This sauce is the perfect pairing for the fried crab claws. The flavors come together so nicely and if you are going to prepare the fried crab claws, then the cocktail sauce is a must.
How do you eat appetizer crab claws?
Appetizer crab claws are easy and fun to eat! First, dip the cooked crab claw into homemade cocktail sauce. Then, hold the crab claw and pull the crab meat between your teeth. The claws are discarded, so make sure to have a separate plate for the leftover claws.
How to make homemade cocktail sauce:
You can follow the recipe below, or you can learn to make your own cocktail sauce by tasting along the way. This is easy, and it ensures that your cocktail sauce will have just the right amount of spicy heat. In the video below, I share how I make cocktail sauce without a recipe.
For all of my favorite crab recipes, go to my blog post on How to choose crab and the best way to cook it. It has a wealth of information on the types of crabs to choose from as well as various ways to cook crab.
- FRIED CRAB CLAWS:
- 2 pounds crab claws
- 1 cup cornmeal *see notes
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 tsp Creole seasoning
- 2 cups oil (I used peanut oil)
- COCKTAIL SAUCE:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 4 TB horseradish (for spicy; use less for mild)
- 1 TB fresh lemon juice
- dash hot sauce (optional)
FRIED CRAB CLAWS:
- Beat eggs; pour into a shallow pan.
- Put cornmeal and panko crumbs into a large bowl; mix well.
- Place large container aside to transfer breaded claws to hot oil.
- Heat oil in a large 12" skillet on medium-high heat..
- Dip claws in egg until coated on all sides.
- Toss claws in breading--shaking off excess.
- Fry claws in batches (roughly 15-20 claws) for 2-3 minutes or just until golden.
- Remove claws and drain on paper towels.
- Repeat until all claws are fried. Discard oil.
- Serve with cocktail sauce.
- Mix all ingredients well, tasting as you go.
- To make it spicier, add more horseradish. To make it less spicy, add more ketchup.
- Keep covered in the fridge for up to one week.
McEwen & Sons Cornmeal is my favorite.
Zatarain's and Tony Chachere's Creole are my favorites.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1496Total Fat 120gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 105gCholesterol 215mgSodium 2033mgCarbohydrates 68gFiber 4gSugar 18gProtein 33g
- 1 stick butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 lb. fresh crab claws
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- Juice of half a lemon
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly (do not brown garlic).
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper.
- Add crab claws and toss them to coat in the sauce.
- Cook for about 5 minutes and remove from heat.
- Add parsley and lemon juice, toss once more and serve.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 680Total Fat 48gSaturated Fat 30gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 341mgSodium 1956mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 1gSugar 16gProtein 42g
What to serve with appetizer crab claws:
We love to serve appetizer crab claws with steak for a lovely “surf and turf” that is company-worthy and delicious. You can link to my favorite recipes below.
How to boil Alaskan King Crab Claws
If you want to know how to select all varieties and sizes of crab claws, you can find out in this blog post~How to Choose Crab and the Best Way to Cook It. If you want a sneak peek into how I cook larger crab claws, check out the short video below.
I hope this post was helpful. If you make any of the crab recipes or have any questions, feel free to leave comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!!