Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites are a quick and easy appetizer made with bite-sized pieces of imitation crab coated in butter and Cajun seasoning, cooked in an air fryer. It’s a flavorful snack or light meal that is ready in about 20 minutes! If you don’t have an air fryer, I will also let you know how you can make these in the oven. If you love imitation crab, you will also want to try my Crab Dip.

Bowl of Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Imitation Crab: Imitation crab is not really crab meat at all, but a combination of whitefish paste and fillers, called ‘surimi’. It is still technically seafood, but it has a lot more added salt and preservatives than fresh crab.

Butter: I melted salted butter to coat the crab bites. You may want to melt a little extra butter for dipping, too!

Cajun Seasoning: If you don’t have any on hand, make your own homemade Cajun seasoning to use. Homemade seasoning is a great way to maximize flavor. Add more or less to taste.

Raw Ingredients for Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites.

How to Serve Imitation Crab Bites

With a crispy outer layer and chewy inside, these imitation crab bites are delicious with a unique texture on their own. However, the taste testers also loved them with some dipping options. Try them dipped in melted butter, garlic chili oil (good on EVERYTHING), or bang bang sauce from my bang bang shrimp recipe for even more flavor. The bites would also be a delicious addition to a lettuce salad.

Hand Holding one Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bite on a Toothpick.

How to Store Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites

If you have any leftover crab bites, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last 2-3 days. Reheat the bites in your air fryer.

Bowl of Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites with a Toothpick.

Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Air Fryer Imitation Crab Bites are a quick and easy appetizer made with bite-sized pieces of imitation crab coated in butter and Cajun seasoning, cooked in an air fryer.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) imitation crab meat sticks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) salted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning*

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pieces of imitation crab meat, melted butter, and Cajun seasoning.
  • Gently toss the mixture until the crab meat is evenly coated with the butter and seasoning.
  • Set the temperature of the air fryer to 400°F.** Place the coated crab meat into the basket of the air fryer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the pieces of crab are golden brown and heated through, flipping halfway through.
  • Remove the crab bites from the air fryer.
  • Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. We prefer garlic chili oil, bang bang sauce, or melted butter.

Notes

*Recipe for homemade Cajun Seasoning.
**Oven Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. After coating the crab bites, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Then, flip over the bites and bake for an additional 14 minutes, or until crispy.

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