What Does Crab Taste Like?

While often compared to its crustacean counterpart, the lobster, crab is its own delicious food. Although similar in appearance, crab, and lobster are not the same. With a myriad of ways to cook it and different types, crab can be an underrated meal.

Overall, crab tastes sweet and salty with a very delicate fish flavor. It’s soft, delicate, and not overpowering. In addition, different types of crab will have different tastes and flavors.

Although lobster is often thought of as the more luxurious of the two, crab has many types. Some of which are delicious and can rival lobster in taste and flavor. 

Popular Types of Crab

There are roughly 4500 different types of crabs, but we don’t eat most of them. However, some popular crabs are Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs, soft shell crabs, Dungeness Crabs, Snow Crabs, and King Crabs.

Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs

Often referred to simply as blue crabs, these crabs are generally sweeter than other types. However, while they are sought after due to their flavor, they are also difficult to eat. 

Unlike some other types of crabs, you need to disassemble and remove the meat from each part before eating. In addition, blue crabs are not overly large. So, you need to do a lot of work for a fairly small amount of meat.

Soft Shell Crabs

Soft shell crabs are actually blue crabs whose shells are soft and edible as they are in the process of molting.

While they taste similar to blue crabs, they are often eaten fried and on a sandwich. Blue crabs are usually cracked open and eaten for their meat.

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Dungeness Crabs

Unlike blue crabs, Dungeness are packed with meat. These crabs are sweet, tender, and delicate. They also have fairly flakey meat that carries notes of nuttiness and salt.

Snow Crabs

Like Dungeness Crabs, Snow Crabs are light and delicate with a sweet flavor. While not overly salty, these crabs do have a saltiness that is more present than some of the other types.

King Crabs

King Crabs are much larger than the other types. They are somewhat milder in flavor, although they do have a sweetness to them.

Like Blue Crabs, it is difficult to get inside the shell and claws to get to the meat. However, unlike Blue Crabs, King Crabs often have enough meat inside to make the effort easily worth it.

Other Types of Crab

While perhaps not quite as popular, there are other types of crabs that have somewhat different flavors and textures.

Stone Crabs

Stone crabs are often thought of as a delicacy and taste like a mix of lobster and shrimp. Talking about lobster, learn how to reheat red lobster biscuits.. They have a sweetness that is often less pronounced than some other types.

However, while these types of crab are delicious, they must be frozen before being eaten. If they are not, they tend to taste heavily of iodine.

Horseshoe Crab

While not typically thought of as a crab you can eat, some parts of this crab are edible. Most notably it’s roe. However, while they are edible they are fairly rubbery and taste heavily of brine.

It’s not recommended to eat most of the other parts.

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Horsehair Crab

This crab hails from Japan and has a rich, dense, sweet flavor. Similar to a blue crab, it’s difficult to get into, but its meat is delicious and highly sought after.

It will take some effort, but the reward of this succulent meat will be worth it.


Most crab meat should be light and delicate in texture. It should be soft and flake easily. In addition, the meat should be fairly moist. Also, if the crab meat is frozen the texture may change after defrosting.

While a little chewiness might be okay based on the type of crab, if it’s overly chewy or rubbery, it’s been overcooked. 

Final Thoughts

Generally, crab has a nice delicate flavor that is slightly sweet and salty. It should be light and flakey with a hint of fishy flavor.

If you are looking for a sweeter flavor try to get a blue crab or a horsehair crab as those are sweeter than others. If you like a milder flavor, get some King crab.