One of my kids’ most loved food: Air Fryer Imitation Crab Chips

Imitation crab chips are as delicious as they are a nutritious meal. Their main ingredient is minced fish, but while their flavor resembles that of seafood, it’s mild and slightly salty. You may also find some varieties with a slightly sweet taste…it’s all about your preferences! 

This amazing meal was invented in Japan, but it first appeared in the country in the 1970s as a cheaper alternative to real crab. Imitation crab was a huge hit as it was highly versatile; you could eat it in salads, noodles, casseroles, sauces, and dips. 

You’re probably wondering; is imitation crab nutritious?

Yes! Besides the 15 benefits of the air fryer, Imitation crab contains nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fat. Despite its lack of crab meat, it tastes great when prepared well. In fact, a good crab chips recipe will make this meal a staple in your kitchen. 

I have been cooking imitation crab chips for as long as I can remember. So, I have a simple but perfect crab chips recipe that I’ve mastered over the years. I’m sharing this recipe from my heart (and the love I have for crab chips). I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients for Cooking Crab Chips

For this recipe, you can choose any brand of frozen crab chips you prefer. To ensure you’re buying the right product, be on the lookout for “Crab flavored sticks,” “imitation crab,” “crab sticks,” “krab sticks,” or “surimi seafood” on product packaging in the seafood section of your local supermarket.  

Alternatively, you can order them online and receive the product in the comfort of your home.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Cooking Crab Chips in an Air Fryer

Follow these simple steps to make mouthwatering crab chips in no time:

  1. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 320˚ F. Preheating is essential because it circulates hot air in the air fryer. This allows the imitation crab chips to start cooking immediately, removing moisture from the frozen chips. It ultimately results in crispy and golden brown.
  1. Line up frozen crab chips in the air fryer, leaving enough space. Spacing the crab chips exposes all of them to the circulating hot air, allowing them to cook evenly.
  2. Air Fry them at 320˚ F for 10-15 minutes. Keep tossing them every few minutes, or turn them using a pair of kitchen tongs. It helps the crab chips to cook well on all sides. 
  3. Turn over the crab chips for even cooking; they should be golden brown and crispy. Turn over or return them to the air fryer for a few more minutes if they aren’t ready.
  4. Season them with salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it! You have made a finger-licking meal from imitation crab and you can now relax and enjoy your delicious homemade meal.

How Can You Tell When Your Crab Chips Are Well-Cooked?

You will know your crab chips are well-cooked when they turn golden brown. Well-done crab chips should also have a crispy texture.

It isn’t difficult to know they are ready, as you should check on them every few minutes after popping them in the air fryer. Use a pair of tongs to turn them or toss them in the air fryer basket.

What Are the Ingredients of an Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab consists of surimi, which is a paste of finely shredded fish. The meat is minced, heated, and pressed into shapes resembling crab leg meat.

Imitation crab resembles real crab meat in texture and color. The ingredients used to make it appear like the original crab include starch, egg white, sugar, and vegetable oil. They are the binding agents that imitation crab manufacturers add to make it stick together.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and orange/red food coloring are other ingredients in imitation crab.

Are Air Fryer Crab Chips Healthy?

Air fryer crabs chips are healthy. They are low in calories, making them a good snack for calorie-conscious individuals. Additionally, they have the nutrients your body needs, such as Vitamin B12, protein, and carbohydrates.

The game changer that makes healthy crab chips lies in the method of cooking- air frying. Air frying involves little to no oil to cook crab chips. Hence, air-fried crab chips are a healthier alternative to those made with traditional methods such as deep frying.

Are Raw Imitation Crabs Healthy?

Thanks to its diverse nature, you can eat imitation crab in various ways, including raw. Imitation crab is healthy to eat while raw because it cooks during the processing. Hence, you won’t kill many of its nutrients while cooking, making them a healthy snack.

Additionally, good imitation crab brands make healthier versions of the product. They substitute some of the ingredients for healthier ones like sea salt, pea starch, oat fiber, cane sugar, and natural flavors. Hence, they are beneficial to eat while raw.

How Should You Store Leftover Crab Chips From an Air Fryer?

The best way to store leftover air-fried crab chips is by putting them in an air-tight container. You should then put the container in the refrigerator and consume the chips within a few days.

Air-tight containers are the best to store your leftover crab chips because they don’t let air into the food. Hence, your crab chips retain their crunch when you air-fried them.

The containers also keep them fresh longer. This is because they do not encourage oxidation, a significant factor contributing to food becoming stale faster.

How to Reheat Leftover Crab Chips

You can quickly reheat leftover crab chips without losing their taste or crunch. The secret is in the reheating method; it is best not to use a microwave lest the chips turn soggy.

You can use the air fryer to reheat the chips and enjoy them as if they were a fresh batch. Add them into the air fryer basket, spray them generously with cooking spray, and cook them at 330° F for 2–5 minutes.

Can You Cook Crab in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook the perfect crab in an air fryer. There are plenty of delicious crab recipes to try making in an air fryer, and they are also healthy.

An air fryer makes healthy meals since it doesn’t require you to use a lot of oil. You put the crabs in the machine and let them cook with hot air. You may add a little oil so the food won’t stick to the pot, but that’s it. No deep-frying happens with an air fryer.

Try This Imitation Crab Recipe Today

Do you crave crab meat but cannot access it, or want to taste imitation crab? You are in the right place because you now have the easiest and most delicious imitation crab recipe to try out.

Not only is imitation crab affordable, but you also wouldn’t have to deal with a messy kitchen like you would if you were deep frying. When air frying it, you only need three simple ingredients; salt, imitation crab, and pepper. In 15–20 minutes, you’ll be munching away at a healthy, delicious snack.

Try it out, and let me know what you think!

If you love this recipe, please share it with your friends and family. Also, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please leave them below. We love your feedback!

crab chips air fryer (1)

Crab Chips Air Fryer

Crab chips air fryer is delicious and easy to make, get it within 20 minutes. You can also use canned imitation crab, as this gives you room to try out various versions of the product. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 3 People
Calories 90 kcal


  • 1 Cosori Air Fryer


  • 1 Bag Imitation Crab Chip
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper


  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 320˚ F
    crab chips air fryer (2)
  • Line up frozen crab chips in the air fryer, leaving enough space
    crab chips air fryer (3)
  • Air Fry them at 320˚ F for 10-15 minutes.
  • Turn over the crab chips for even cooking
    crab chips air fryer (6)
  • Season them with salt and pepper to taste
    crab chips air fryer (1)


Pro tips when cooking:
  • Tear the crab sticks length-wise to break them up. Don’t overdo it; 1.5–2 centimeters in length is enough. This tip helps cook them more evenly.
  • Ensure the crab chips are even-sized, so they all cook simultaneously.
  • You can spray them with a bit of oil before putting them in the air fryer. It prevents them from sticking to the pot and adds crunch to the crab chips.
  • Cook the imitation crabs in batches if you are cooking a large quantity. Overcrowding them in the air fryer basket will make them cook unevenly.
  • Add more herbs or spices of your choice for more flavor.
Keyword crab chips air fryer
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