Have you eaten a horseshoe crab before?

We have been warned never to eat horseshoe crab because eating the wrong organ of the horseshoe crab can make us ‘mabuk’ or get a high. So, hubby and I have hardly touch it. However, many seafood restaurants do display horseshoe crabs in their tanks. Since they sell it, we try it.


Actually, the horseshoe crab has no edible parts except the eggs or roe. Though it looks huge, there are no fleshy parts like crabs. What is served is the roes. The restaurant told us we can either have the horseshoe crab grilled and eat the roe or they can take the grilled roe and make kerabu mango with it.

horseshoe crab

The underside of the horseshoe crab has lots of greenish/orangey roe. I remembered the roe should be orange but ours are more green than orange. Anyway, after eating the gory stuffs, I didn’t die or I wouldn’t be blogging, eh?

However, note that you can get poisoning from eating the whole thing. Read this :

Liao Y, Li X.
Fisheries College of Zhanjiang Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524025, China.
During the past three years on investigating and studying the poisoning of eating Horseshoe crab, it has been discovered that the major cause of the poisoning on eating Horseshoe crab in south region along the seacoast of China was taking tetrodotoxin from Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda by mistake; the symptoms of some others from eating Horseshoe crab were the result of allergic reactions from eating Tachypleus tridentatuscause, similar to the reactions from eating shrimp or crab, and which could be cured with chlorpheniramine. The effective prevention measures are not eating Horseshoe crab, especially the young ones. The size of young Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda is similar to the size of the nonpoisonous Tachypleus tridentatuscause. It is very easy to be confused and easy to eat by mistake. The treatment of the poisoning from eating Horseshoe crab is similar to the treatment of tetrodotoxin by removing the toxins from body.

horseshoe crab

The roe is nothing like caviar. It is not like ebiko. It is also nothing like fish roe sold by the mamak nasi kandar, i.e. telor ikan. It tastes like ‘sea’ and has a rubbery texture. The only exotic thing is the thought of eating something like alien. I remember one of the Alien movie has this alien that slapped on to the face of Sigourney Weaver. So, that’s how the horseshoe crab looks like to me. Alien. I expect to ooze green blood after consuming. Talking about green blood, do you know that the horseshoe crab has blue blood and these animals are used in research?

horseshoe crab roe

A close-up of the horseshoe crab roes.

So, are you adventurous to try it? You need to wait and see if you get an allergic reaction or you stopped breathing or start dancing naked as after effects, you know?

8 Replies to “Have you eaten a horseshoe crab before?”

  1. Never eaten one before, but saw a real one before. I read a story about horseshoe crab recently in newspaper. It said that the crab is almost extinct and it is actually not a crab. Cant remember what family it belongs to.

  2. heehee…. this is sometime must try as a food blogger… must try at least once….

    else how u can tell ppl how the taste like…….

    Huat Koay always force us to try this like of creepy creature….. 🙁

  3. Thanks for all the info…. your blog is educational too!

    I think after reading I would be brave enough to try eating it!

  4. I tried it before and I must say it’s not as bad as it look. The roe is green, think of it like “lek tau”. We had our’s grilled and I love the smoky flavors that come with it.

  5. I do know that these horseshoe crabs are always together with their mates and they are ancient creatures. They are also used in intensive research for cancer cure. So, dont eat them!!

  6. Had some when I was still based at Melaka.

    Like rubber lah. No ‘Popping’ sensation one. No taste also, like you wrote, taste like sea water. LOL.

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