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Crispy Creole Fried Crab Fingers

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Crispy Creole Fried Crab Fingers, also known as Fried Cocktail Crab Claws or Fried Crab Claws, are a quick and easy crab appetizer. This very simple seafood recipe from The Cagle Diaries, features blue crab claws dipped in a spicy, Creole seasoned egg batter, coated with a kicked up floury, cornmeal coating then deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. With ingredients you most likely have in your pantry, you can make a restaurant-quality seafood appetizer or meal at home, in under fifteen minutes!

Honestly, the first bite of this seafood snack reminded me of a crab cake on a stick. If you love cocktail crab claws, my Creole Butter Garlic Crab Claws recipe, will blow your mind, too!

a white platter of crispy fried crab claws with a brown bowl in the middle filled with remoulade sauce

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 these tasty crustaceans 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 blue crab 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 stronger (sweeter) than that of its crab leg counterpart.

The pinchers of the claw act as handles. So, they are easy to eat and suitable as delicious finger food for cocktail parties. The sweet crab meat is attached to the cartilage. As you bite down on the meaty portion, scrape the meat using your teeth off of the cartilage.

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.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS!

Serve Crispy Fried Crab Fingers as an appetizer with any of the following dipping sauces:

  • Remoulade sauce
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Tartar sauce
  • Mustard sauce (similar to Joe’s Stone Crab)

Additionally, Fried Crab Claws can be served as part of a seafood platter, or as a meal with any of the following accompaniments:

How do you eat fried crab claws?

As mentioned earlier, use the pincher as a utensil. Gently bite down on the meaty claw portion then slide the pincher and cartilage out of your mouth.

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.

a collection of spice blends from Chef Jen's Cuisine for Crispy Fried Crab Fingers

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.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHODS FOR CRISPY CRAB FINGERS

Although the best flavor experience will come from frying crab fingers in hot oil, you can use either of the following cooking methods:

AIR FRYER : Once coated, add the crab claws to air fryer basket. Spray with cooking oil or spray. Air fry at 400° for about 12 minutes (flipping half way through).

OVEN: Place coated crab fingers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking oil or spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.

MORE TIPS:

  • Adjust the spice level to your liking
  • Buttermilk can be used to replace the milk
  • Reheat leftovers in the air fryer or oven, for best results
  • Old Bay is a great substitute for Creole seasoning
  • Use all corn flour for Gluten-Free Crispy Fried Crab Fingers
  • Depending on size, consider four to five pieces per person as an appetizer
  • Do NOT leave out the cornstarch (makes for a crunchier outside)

MORE CRAB RECIPES:

If you are a huge fan of crabmeat and crab legs, check out more of my crabby recipes:

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a platter of crispy fried crab fingers with remoulade sauce

Crispy Fried Crab Fingers


Description

Crispy Fried Crab Fingers, also known as Fried Cocktail Crab Claws or Fried Crab Claws, are a quick and easy crab appetizer. This very simple seafood recipe from The Cagle Diaries, features blue crab claws dipped in a Creole seasoned egg batter, coated with a kicked up floury, cornmeal coating then deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. With ingredients you most likely have in your pantry, you can make a restaurant-quality seafood appetizer or meal at home, in under fifteen minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 ounces cocktail crab claws (3040 count)
  • peanut or canola oil for frying
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • lemon wedges, for serving

FOR THE FLOUR DREDGE:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

Instructions

  1. Heat enough oil to 350° (enough for a medium to deep fry)
  2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and Creole seasoning.
  3. Whisk until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl or freezer bag, combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt and Creole seasoning.
  5. Shake to combine.
  6. Dunk each crab claw into the egg mixture, then fully coat in the flour mixture.
  7. Fry until golden brown on both sides. This should only take about 2 to 3 minutes. (Do NOT overcrowd the pan…fry in batches, if necessary).
  8. Place fried crab claws on paper towels, or a wire rack to drain excess oil. 
  9. Plate. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
  10. Accompany with your favorite dipping sauce (see post for suggestions).
  11. SERVE IMMEDIATELY! ENJOY!

Notes

SEE POST FOR NOTES AND TIPS!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 crab fingers

Keywords: how to make crispy fried crab fingers, how to make fried crab claws, Creole fried crab fingers, seafood finger food recipes, what are crab claws, seafood appetizer ideas, warm crab appetizer ideas, fried crab recipes

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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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