Luckily, one of my local fish markets had several containers of cocktail crab claws for purchase over the holidays. So, not only did I enjoy them right out of the package dipped in cocktail sauce and remoulade sauce, I also prepared them using suggestions of how some restaurants serve these crab fingers in places like Louisiana and the Gulf. Hence, this fabulous recipe for Creole Butter Garlic Crab Claws. Creole seasoning infuses the warm, butter garlic and perfectly coats the meaty flesh of the crab. This is one quick and easy Seafood Appetizer.
If you love this recipe, check out them out fried using this Crispy Creole Crab Fingers recipe!
WHAT ARE CRAB CLAWS OR CRAB FINGERS?
In the past several years, I have been on a mission to find what I now know as cocktail crab claws, or commonly referred to as crab fingers. See, these sweet crab claws were part of a seafood platter I had ordered at a local steakhouse here in Charlotte. I spent several years trying to not only find out what they were, but where to actually purchase them.
Thankfully, with the help of social media, once I posted the video of my find on TikTok, many commented on what they were and also gave me a few ideas of how to prepare this tasty seafood appetizer. Unbeknownst to me, crab fingers, as they call them in the deep south, are a staple appetizer on many restaurant menus in places like Louisiana and come from blue crabs.
Cocktail crab claws are the tips of the pinchers of the claw. They typically come prepared (cooked) with part of the shell removed, exposing the dark pink, meaty flesh of the crab claw. The flavor profile is a stronger than that of its crab leg counterpart.
Where to buy cocktail crab fingers?
So, this is the million dollar question! Unless you live in the deep south, or other areas of the country where these crab claws are in abundance, you may have difficulty locating them. Seek out your local fish market or grocery store. Crustacea is the brand I am using in this warm crab appetizer recipe. The crabmeat comes from blue swimming crabs.
Since this is a highly perishable seafood product, several companies do offer for sale online. However, the cost of shipping can be extremely high.
TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST CREOLE BUTTER GARLIC CRAB CLAWS
Why Clarified Butter?
Clarified butter is the translucent golden butterfat that is left after removing the milk solids and water from butter. Liquid gold or drawn butter are other terms used to describe clarified butter. Ghee is similar to clarified butter. However, ghee is cooked longer to “brown” or caramelize the fat in order to produce a nutty flavor. Both clarified butter or ghee are delicious condiments for crab.
However, if you do not wish to take the time to make clarified butter, you can substitute with ghee (you can easily find this in your local grocery store). Alternatively, using melted butter is fine. Just note, the flavor of these Creole Butter Garlic Crab Claws may not be quite as good if using clarified butter or ghee.
Creole vs. Cajun Seasoning
Thankfully, a friend of mine Chef Jen, just launched her new line of Caribbean Spice Blends. Her Creole Blend, “KoKo Kreole,” is a hand blended spice mixture that is salt-free, gluten-free and msg-free. Please give her a shout and support a small, black woman-owned business.
As an alternative, a Cajun seasoning blend will also work. Honestly, Cajun seasoning and Creole seasoning are quite similar and both include pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and paprika. However, Creole seasoning adds some type of herb, like thyme or oregano to the seasoning mix.
- allow the garlic to infuse the clarified butter for a few minutes (do NOT brown or burn the garlic)
- adjust the amount of seasoning to your liking
- the crab only needs to warm up in the Creole Butter Garlic Sauce (most crab comes pre-cooked)
- do NOT overcook the crab
- add freshness with parsley and lemon wedges
- jumbo lump crab meat can be substituted for crab claws
SERVING AND LEFTOVER BUTTER GARLIC CRAB FINGERS
This low-carb, seafood dish is typically served as a warm crab appetizer. Consider 5 to 6 buttery garlic crab fingers (depending on size) as one serving size. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
Reheat on the stovetop for best results.
MORE CRAB RECIPES!
If you are a huge fan of crabmeat and crab legs, check out more of my crabby recipes:
- Crispy Creole Fried Crab Fingers
- Snow Crab Salad
- Hot Crab Dip
- Crab Stuffed Shrimp
- Crab Alfredo Pasta
- Crab and Corn Chowder
Creole Butter Garlic Crab Claws
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
Creole seasoning infuses the warm, butter garlic and perfectly coats the meaty flesh of the crab fingers. These Creole Butter Garlic Crab Claws are one fabulous, quick and easy seafood appetizer!
- 12 ounces crab claws or crab fingers (pre-cooked)(30-40)
- 4 to 6 ounces clarified butter
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons creole seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
- 2 to 3 lemon wedges, for serving
- In a pan, heat to medium, the clarified butter and garlic.
- Cook for a few minutes before adding the Creole or Cajun seasoning and salt.
- After another minute or so, add in the cocktail crab claws and fresh parsley.
- Allow the crab to warm through (this should only take a minute, or two).
- Pour onto a platter. Garnish with a touch more fresh chopped parlsey.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
SEE POST FOR NOTES AND TIPS!
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Easy
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Serving Size: 6 crab claws
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