Deep Fried Hardshell Crabs

Deep Fried Hardshell Crabs
Ardoyne Plantation

PREP TIME: 30 Minutes SERVES: 6


This is another great example of a recipe created out of necessity. Normally, crabs are either boiled or made into patties, but never deep fried whole. Because there is an abundance of crabs in South Louisiana, many recipes have been developed to use them.


2 dozen hardshell crabs, cleaned 2 tbsps granulated garlic
2 eggs salt and cracked pepper to taste
1 cup milk Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce to taste
1 cup beer 3 cups seasoned yellow corn flour
2 tbsps Creole mustard oil for deep frying
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning  


Have your seafood supplier remove the outer shell from the crab and clean away the organs, eyes, etc. Leave the claws and feet attached to the body and split each crab in half. In a homestyle deep fryer, such as a Fry Daddy, preheat oil according to manufacturer's directions. If using a dutch oven, preheat oil to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, beer and mustard. Using a wire whisk, blend ingredients well to form beer batter. Season the batter with Old Bay, garlic, salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. Place the crabs in beer batter and coat well with seasonings. Place corn flour in a brown paper bag, add crabs and seal tightly. Shake vigorously until crabs are coated thoroughly. Deep fry 3 to 5 minutes or until crabs are golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve with cocktail or tartar sauce.


There are over 4,400 species of crabs in the world today. Although different, most have one thing in common - all true crabs are edible. The smallest crab can live in an oyster shell while the Japanese giant crab, the largest, spans 10 feet and weighs over 30 pounds. Though we have been eating crabs for thousands of years, most of us know nothing about how crabs eat. Some are hunters, pursuing live prey, while others are scavengers. Many eat only vegetables, and the robber crab will climb a palm tree to eat coconut for its dinner. Here in America, we prefer the Louisiana and Chesapeake Bay blue crab for boiling or steaming. We also fancy the Dungeness of the West Coast for eating cold with a dipping sauce. However, the Alaskan King crab is beyond a doubt, the premier seafood to serve alongside a steak.