Florida Stone Crab Claws with Key Lime Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Key lime mustard sauce and Florida stone crabs.

Stone crabs are a culinary treat in Florida. Especially since there is only a seven month season. If you’ve never had them, you’re missing out. There’s a debate among people as to whether to enjoy them hot with drawn butter or cold with a mustard dipping sauce. The latter is the more traditional way and my personal favorite, especially if it’s Key lime mustard dipping sauce.

Ripe Key limes

If you aren’t familiar with Key limes, you can read about them in my post about the fruit. Plus I have many other recipes using them including Key lime muffins with Key lime glaze and Tupelo honey Key lime vinaigrette. Like all of my Key lime recipes, this one uses fresh juice from the tree that grows in my yard.

A few fun facts about stone crabs

They were named by the Native Americans because their shells are so tough, a stone was used to crack them. Stone crabs are the only thing we take from the sea that we don’t kill. They regenerate their claws, in about a year. Stone crab season in Florida is only 7 months long, from October 15 to May 15.  When you order stone crab claws in a restaurant they arrive already partially cracked. When you purchase stone crabs, they are sold to you cooked, they have to be. Some can have pockets of air in the claw that will yield less meat. Those with the air pockets are known as floaters and must be labeled as such so consumers know. They are often cheaper. Stone crabs generally come in four sizes, medium, large, jumbo and colossal and the price reflects the size.

Knowing that stone crabs are difficult to come by in other parts of the United States, this Key lime mustard dipping sauce would also be delicious with chicken tenders.

My blogger friends and I are sharing recipes for picnics today. The fact stone crabs can be served cold makes them perfect for a picnic. They are easily transported and, while you’re keeping the claws cold, you can just tuck the Key lime dipping sauce in the cooler too. Be sure to visit their recipes too.

Key Lime Mustard Dipping Sauce

Key lime mustard sauce is the only condiment you need when serving Florida Stone Crab claws.
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Condiments Spices and Sauces
Cuisine: American


  • 4 Florida Key limes juiced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • In a small bowl, combine the Key lime juice, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. Taste the mustard sauce and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Refrigerate to allow flavors to develop, at least 2 hours. Serve with Florida stone crab claws.
Recipe adapted from Fresh from Florida

Key lime mustard sauce is the only condiment you need when serving Florida Stone Crab claws.

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  1. I live in Key West and have always loved the Key Lime Mustard Floribbean sauce.
    Like, really Really Love it. I could drink it out of the bottle. (just kidding, mostly)
    I believe this is the copycat recipe!! so excited, and happy about finding this!!
    thank you <3
    Liz The Lizard Lady

  2. I have never had a stone crab but would love to try it. Thanks for a great explanation of what they are! I also think your sauce combination sounds delicious and yes, for now we will try it with chicken 🙂 Next time I visit you it will have to be during a time you can serve this dish to me! 🙂

  3. I have had stone crabs and they are delicious. I had no idea about their history and that they are sold cooked. Long Island crabs are very different. The key lime mustard sauce is ah-mazing and can go on crabs but I can see this on so many other things too. Just delish!

  4. First of all, I’m jealous that you have a key lime tree in your back yard. And secondly, I’m intrigued by the sauce – I’ve never heard of eating crabs with a mustard-based sauce. Going to need to try next time I’m in Florida and can try with your local crabs!

  5. Is there a reason that they must be sold cooked? Is it for freshness reasons? This was a very interesting article today Ellen. I didn’t know that stone crabs claws regenerated. Thanks so much for hosting.

    1. They are sold cooked in the event there are the air pockets in the claw. There’s less meat if there’s air in the claw.

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