Sunday, October 11

My Thunder Crab Lunch

After spending a few months frozen in my freezer, mom decided it was time to cook the stone crabs (Myomenippe hardwickii). I caught from nearby Kong Kong river-mouth town in Johor. These crabs are also known as 'thunder' crabs by local chinese as they say that once their pincers grip you, they wont let go unless there is the shocking sound of thunder! It is also been said that only the claws can be eaten as the bodies are poisonous... hmm sounds a little dodgy to me so I had a snoop around the internet.

From what I found, it seems that fishermen only eat the claws and most of them get dumped back into the sea with one claw or none... A Malay fisherman at Kong Kong I met had told me if you eat the body you get 'mabuk' which means drunk. So maybe they might be slightly poisonous, giving a hallucinogenic effect much like the famed puffer fish 'fugu' of Japan. These two other species however are poisonous.

Red egg crabs (Atergatis integerrimus) can sometimes be mistaken for the stone crab.

And this death dealer, Mosaic Crab (Lophozozymus+pictor) is super super poisonous!!! Notice all these crabs have black tipped claws...

Ok so I cleaned up the claws and cleaned up the body of 1 crab just to see if the myth was true. One of the female crabs had those eggs just like the first picture. Steamed them with some light soy sauce for 4-5 minutes. Meat was very sweet, flavour was better than flower crabs! But due to freezing, the meat turned out a little grainy but still texture was good! The crab roe, slightly smaller than ebikko but similiar color were very good, like the flavour of the sea as you crunched on them.

Lack of pics as my hands were covered with crab meat.

Mom thought she felt a bit 'high' after eating them, though I was the only one who ate the body of the crab. So far after 1 hour still no effect. I think the haze and smoke today is making me feel worse than the yummy crabs. Will definitely go catch more with my new crabbing equipment soon!

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