Air-Fried Crab Sticks

Today is two days to Chinese New Year (Year of Goat – 19 Feb 2015). Later tonight,  I will be making these air-fried crab sticks as gifts for my family. I like to make them so near to the first day of the lunar new year, so that they taste fresh during the start of the festival. The reason I can do so confidently, is because this is a truly simple recipe, requiring only 2 ingredients – crab sticks and cooking spray (oil).

See Also:

Crispy Crab Sticks (Air Fryer Recipe)

I used to deep fry them, and the result was great. But anything that requires deep-frying always give me a lot of resistance to start. This year, I experimented with using the air fryer to make crispy crab sticks. My verdict? They are crispy and less oily, plus (a BIG plus!) I don’t have to worry about oil splatters or air drying them for hours before cooking. The thin and flat layers of the crab sticks, just like vegetarian goose or “zai er”, meant that they are a great candidate for air frying. If you have an air fryer, you should try this out!

Crispy Crab Sticks (Air Fryer Recipe)

I also experimented with using the oven, but baking took too long with lackluster results so the oven option was not worth pursuing for me. Now I know how simple it is to make these addictive goodies, I can make them anytime of the year, not only during CNY. Check out the following photos for air frying crab sticks.

Step-by-Step Pictures

Artificial crab sticks
I’m using DoDo brand of crab sticks due to their nice flavour. There is no need to season them any further. Remove the plastic sheet for each crab stick. I use them straight from the packet.

Air Fried Crab Sticks Recipe
Find the edge of each crab stick and start peeling to unroll.

Air Fried Crab Sticks Recipe
You should be able to unroll it to a nice flat sheet.

Air Fried Crab Sticks Recipe
Tear the crab stick sheet to 1 cm width.

Air Fried Crab Sticks Recipe
Spread out the peeled crab sticks on large plates.

Air Fried Crab Sticks Recipe
Spray with coating oil, then use tongs to coat them evenly in the oil.

Cooking Spray
This is the cooking spray I used. I bought it from Cold Storage (Singapore). It’s usually at the baking section.

Air Fried Crab Sticks Recipe
Cook in air fryer according to the temperature and timing as stated in the recipe on the next page. This is what the crab sticks look like after 7 minutes. They require 3 more minutes to finish.

Crispy Crab Sticks (Air Fryer Recipe)
If you are tearing them to thin shreds instead (note: they may fall through the basket holes), halve the cooking time. When cooled, store crispy crab sticks in air-tight containers.

Air-Fried Crab Sticks Recipe

This recipe indicates the quantity for one packet of Dodo crabsticks (250 grams; 16 crab sticks). To avoid overcrowding the air fryer to ensure even cooking, I cook half a packet (125 grams or 8 crab sticks) at a time. You may cook as many batches as you like. After the first batch, you do not need to preheat the airfryer again.


  • 250 grams (about 16) artificial/imitation crab sticks
  • cooking spray

You also need

  • air fryer
  • tongs


  1. Carefully peel and unroll the crab sticks, then separate to 1 cm width.
  2. Divide peeled crab sticks to two large plates, spray with cooking spray and use tongs to coat evenly.
  3. Preheat air fryer to 160°C (320°F) for 5 minutes. Add in one portion (one plate; 8 crab sticks or 125 grams) of peeled crab sticks in the basket. Cook for 4, 3 followed by 3 minutes. During each interval, pull out the basket and shake the contents for even cooking.
  4. If there are any pale coloured crab sticks at the end of 10 minutes, set them aside on a plate. After cooking all the crab sticks, you can cook this last batch of pale crab sticks for 2 more minutes and they will turn a uniform golden colour.
  5. When cooled, store crispy crab sticks in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Noob Cook Tip

You may also tear the peeled crab sticks to thin shreds, halving the cooking time if doing so.