Mud Crab

The mud crab is one of the best shellfish you could wish for. Its moist meat, mostly found in the body and claws, has a marvellous distinct and sweet flavour.

The mud crab is one of the best seafoods for presentation, with graceful legs and ornate claws that can be kept whole and used as a garnish. A crab claw protruding from a bowl of hearty mud crab bisque can be very appealing to the eye.

One of the best cooking methods is to steam, boil or poach mud crabs in salted water (25 g of salt per litre), then season with lemon, black pepper, garlic and onion. The crab can be finished off for the final dish by a variety of methods including barbecuing or pan-frying. Be careful not to overcook the crab in the initial stages, when adding a little vinegar will make the meat easier to remove.

Mud crab is delicious in soups and bisques, or as a filling for seafood tortellini. In a salad, dress with light vinaigrettes using flavoured oils such as walnut, and cascade the flesh over a mound of curly endive with a selection of citrus fruits. Mud crab can also be served whole on a platter, often feeding a number of people.

Never put live crabs directly into boiling water or the meat will toughen and the legs or claws may fall off. The most humane way to kill the crab is to put it to sleep in the freezer for about one hour before cooking.

Flavour: Medium to Strong.

Oiliness: Low

Moisture: Moist

Texture: Medium to Firm

Flesh Colour: Translucent when raw and white to off-white when cooked. The shell turns red when cooked.

Price: Mud crabs are high-priced crabs.

Edibility: Flesh from the large claws, legs and body and some internal organs such as the roe

Suggested Wines

The accompanying wine should not overpower the sweetness of the flavour of the mud crab, although there is a strength of flavour that would be complemented by some of the unwooded, dry white styles.

Suitable examples include Semillons from New South Wales, or Chardonnays from Western Australia.

The pronounced flavour of mud crab bisque allows for more robust flavours in the wine, such as those of wooded Chardonnays.


per 100g of raw product


372* (89* Calories)


45 mg


355* mg

Total fat (oil)

0.7 g

Saturated fat

31% of total fat

Monounsaturated fat

31% of total fat

Polyunsaturated fat

38% of total fat

Omega-3, EPA

22 mg

Omega-3, DHA

52 mg

Omega-6, AA



Shallow Fry


Deep Fry




When Caught

Year round, with peak supply from January through April in Queensland


Wild/Farmed Wild

Habitat Estuarine

Recovery Rate Flesh (from claws and body): 25% of total weight

Mud Crab Research

FRDC provides a comprehensive search of the latest research papers and images on Mud Crab


Mud crabs are mostly sold live due to their ability to survive out of water for days. Live mud crabs are tied with a cord and should be handled with care if released as the powerful claws can inflict serious injury.

The flesh quality varies with season.

Minimum size restrictions apply; these differ between states and, All females are protected in Queensland.

Common Size 15.5 – 17 cm