Spanner Crabs – A delicacy from Queensland

Has anyone got a chance to taste Australian spanner crabs? I haven’t had them for about a year now as they are not usually available in Adelaide’s seafood shops. Just in case that someone doesn’t know what a spanner crab is. Here is a bit of introduction.




Spanner crabs are also called red frog crabs or Ranina ranina and is a species of edible crabs. However, they are the only edible species in its genus. These crabs usually weigh around 400g but can rarely grow up to 900g. Mainly wild caught in 100m deep sea water in Queensland and  northern NSW, the crabs are somewhat considered as a delicacy in those areas. However, they have not received much attention throughout Australia, especially in Adelaide. Since the 1980s, the fishery of these crabs has been dramatically increased in their origin and prices are going up gradually.


Last time when I bought the crabs, they were about 400g each and cost $10.99/kg. However, this time, they cost $17.99/kg although the crabs are weighing 900g each. They are almost a kilo each now. WOW! 😀 The ones this time is very rare as they are almost grown to their maximum weight and I think that’s why the price is higher, maybe.



In regarding how to each crabs, I guess different people has different recipe and methods. I like eating them natural, ie. directly steam them. I mean you can boil them up as well but I think that can take some of the crab butters away. Many people doesn’t like crab butters. That’s absolutely fine. I am just in love with these yellow ‘stuffs’ :D. So, anyway, I cooked them natural and used ginger infused balsamic vinegar for dipping. These crabs are soooooooooooo yummy! They have the similar flavour as normal blue swimmers with some extra earthy and deep sea bream. The crabs were full of meat, which is so condensed and tasty! They are just soooooooo delicious!

For the meat from legs and spanners, I mixed them with some veges, pan fried them and made some pancakes. Because of the great saltiness of the crab meat, no salt was added but the pancakes taste so beautiful with plenty of crab meat.

Spanner crabs are available occasionally at Samtass Seafood at $17.99/kg.

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5 thoughts on “Spanner Crabs – A delicacy from Queensland

  1. Someone from Queensland here. For the price, your crabs are really not expensive. I usually go to restaurants to have these crabs in a seafood platter. They are very delicious!


  2. Pingback: Vinegared crab | Selfstorageman

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