Chu u crab is as small as field crab and three-stripped crab (Ba khia) in Mekong Delta. However, it has rougher skin and moves more slowly. Chu u crab lives in coastal forests, the coastal district in Tra Vinh province. Chu u has 2 strong red fleshy pincers. In Vietnamese, “chu u” means sad. The crab looks sad so that Vietnamese people call it Chu u crab. It does not impress people with its name but the great taste, rich nutrition of the flesh, and the crispy shell. Especially, shedder chu u crab has tender shell, greasy and smelling flesh. Some delicious dishes from Chu u crab are Steamed Chu u crab with beer, Boiled Chu u crab with coconut water, Grilled Chu u crab. To eat, dinner get firm and sweet-tasty Chu u crab flesh out of the shell, then dip the flesh in a mixture of salt, ground black pepper, and lime juice.
Roasted Chu u crab with tamarind is a famous dish from this specialty food. They roast Chu u crab with garlic, onion and tamarind sauce. The sour tamarind sauce and the greasy flesh mix well. The dish is served with steamed rice, herbs, the mixture of salt, ground black pepper, and lime juice or chili pepper salt.
Local people also make Fermented Chu u crab (Mam chu u) which can be stored for a long term. Wash the Fermented Chu u crab with warm water; separate pincers, walking legs, gill, and shell; mix these parts of crab with garlic, chili pepper, sugar, minced pineapple or lime juice, leave for a few hours, then eat with steamed rice or rice noodles. Fermented Chu u crab is a favorite gift to buy in Tra Vinh. Do not miss tasting some great dishes from this strange crab and buy some Mam chu u to bring home.
Read more about other specialty foods of Tra Vinh