Frog crab is a species of crab which has outstandingly tasty and rich-nutrient meat. This kind of crab is an expensive food in Vietnam. From this crab, Vietnamese people have created many delicious and healthy dishes. In the country, frog crab is abundant in the coastal waters of some provinces in Central Vietnam: Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, and Binh Thuan.
Vietnamese people call this crab “Cua huỳnh đế” (Cua huynh de), cua means crab in English, huỳnh đế means king in English. It has been said that Gia Long king ran for safety and came to Tranh island – a small island which was next to Phu Quy island, he saw fishermen caught a reddish brown crab which shell looked like an armor of kings and meat was very sweet-tasty. Since then, fishermen offer this kind of crab to the king whenever they found and caught the crabs. This crab dishes had been served to royal families in Vietnam in the past. Fishermen on the island named this crab Cua huynh de and consider it as the symbol of luckiness and richness.
Huynh de crab has a unique and strange shape. It looks like both shrimp and crab. Its head and pincers are similar to a shrimp’s ones. Its carapace looks like a crab’s one. It is a shrimp with an elongated midsection and a crab’s carapace. It may grow up to 150 millimeters long and may weigh up to 900 grams. The carapace is wider at the front, reddish brown in color, with ten white spots.
There is a wide range of flavorful Cua huynh de recipes:
- Steamed frog crab
- Steamed frog crab with lemongrass
- Steamed frog crab with salt, ground black pepper, and chili pepper
- Boiled frog crab
- Toasted frog crab with salt
- Toasted frog crab with tamarind
- Porridge frog crab