Fried Crab Legs Recipe

Juicy and crispy crab legs, with just a hint of seasoning!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated January 5, 2023

Fried Crab Legs are a delicious way to add an East Coast flair to your meal!

Fried Crab Legs_

They’re made by dunking crab legs in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, then frying them. This creates a flavorful coating and an irresistible crunch that pairs so nicely with juicy crab.

The breadcrumb coating is seasoned with classic Old Bay spice. This seasoning is a staple in Baltimore seafood restaurants and a must-have for crab and shrimp!

You can serve deep fried crab legs as an appetizer, or as the main course with other coastal-inspired sides. With this quick recipe, you’ll always have a fool-proof seafood dish up your sleeve!

All About The Fried Crab Legs Ingredients

Crab Legs

This recipe uses King crab, one of the most popular and tasty varieties of crab. King crab is sometimes also called Russian crab or Alaskan King crab.

Believe it or not, some King Crabs can weigh up to 25 lbs! Their large size means they can produce nice large chunks of meat.

The majority of King crab is actually shell, except for the meaty legs and claws. This dense white meat is usually enjoyed simply steamed and dipped in butter.

You can find fresh crab legs in a seafood store near you. If you don’t have one, check the frozen seafood section of your supermarket and look for frozen crab legs.


In this recipe, an egg wash is used to help the breading stick to the crab meat. Eggs also provide moisture during the frying process and keep the breading from falling apart in the oil.


Breadcrumbs are the best way to get that perfect golden brown crunch. I use panko bread crumbs in this recipe for a lighter taste and texture.

Panko breadcrumbs are a staple of Japanese dishes like tempura. They’re made from white bread that has been made into flakes and dried.

If you can’t get your hands on panko, you can substitute it for regular breadcrumbs.

Old Bay Seasoning

This classic spice mix gives these deep fried crab legs an authentic east coast flavor! It’s famously used in Maryland crab cakes, and goes well with almost any seafood.

Old Bay has been used in fried crab legs recipes for decades. It was invented during WWII in Baltimore and is named after the Old Bay Line steamship.

The main spices in Old Bay seasoning are celery salt, paprika, and black pepper. This mild, salty blend pairs nicely with the delicate flavors of seafood.

Fried Crab Legs recipe

How To Make Fried Crab Legs

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time20 min
  • Servings1
  • Yield4

Level: Easy




  1. Step Name

    Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the steamer basket on top of the pot and insert crab legs.

    Steam the crab legs for five minutes, then allow them to cool.

    Remove the shells from the crab leg meat.

  2. Make Flour and Breadcrumb Mixtures

    Add flour, 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until combined.

    In the shallow bowl, mix the panko crumbs and remaining Old Bay seasoning.

  3. Make Egg Wash

    Add eggs and milk to a separate large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.

  4. Bread the Crab Legs

    Start by dipping a piece of crab into the flour mixture. Shake off any excess, then dip the crab into the egg mixture.

    Finally, coat the crab in the breadcrumb mixture.

  5. Deep Fry

    Heat a frying pan with oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place the crab legs in the pan.

    Cook crab legs until they are golden brown on each side.

  6. Drain the Excess Oil

    Remove the fried crab legs from the oil with a slotted spoon. Place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.

    Cool, then serve immediately.

Fried Crab Legs serve

How to Serve Deep Fried Crab Legs

The best pairing for these golden brown crab legs is an equally delicious dipping sauce!

Some of my favorite sauce options are tartar sauce, Japanese yum yum sauce, and barbecue sauce. Creamy and tangy sauces in general will help compliment the rich fried batter.

Although fried crab legs are delicious on their own, they can also be incorporated into other dishes. Fried crab leg sandwiches with mayonnaise and lettuce make a great casual summer dinner.

Deep fried crab legs are also a great picnic food. Serve them alongside simple sides like corn on the cob and potato salad.

How to Store and Freeze Deep Fried Crab Legs

Store any leftover crab in the refrigerator in an airtight container, or wrapped in aluminum foil. If stored properly, crab meat will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

The best way to store crab meat leftovers is actually by freezing them. The best option for freezer storage is an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.

For best results, freeze fried crab legs for a maximum of three months. It will be safe to eat beyond three months, but the texture and taste may change.

Frozen fried crab legs thawed in the refrigerator can be stored there for 3-5 days. If you reheat fried crab legs in the microwave, they should be eaten right away and not refrigerated again.

Fried Crab Legs - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 460Calories
  • 22.2g Fat
  • 35.9g Carbs
  • 28.2gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22.2g 28%
Saturated Fat3.6g 18%
Cholesterol138mg 46%
Sodium2110mg 92%
Total Carbohydrate35.9g 13%
Dietary Fiber1.8g 6%
Total Sugars1.4g
Vitamin C8mcg 39%
Calcium122mg 9%
Iron4mg 21%
Potassium106mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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