Rach Goc three-striped crab (Ba khia Rach Goc) is one of specialty foods of Ca Mau province as well as Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Three-striped crab (Ba khia) and great dishes from the crab in Rach Goc – an urban municipality town of Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau province can win the heart of any dinner at the first time.
Similar to rice field crab in Mekong Delta, three-striped crab has 2 brown-red pincers and 8 walking legs. It has dark brown shell with three stripes so that we call it three-striped crab (Ba khia). This kind of crab lives in brackish and salt water in mangrove forests. In Vietnam, they are found in Can Gio district in Ho Chi Minh city, Go Cong district in Tien Giang and Rach Goc urban municipality town, Ngoc Hien district, in Ca Mau province. Ba khia Rach Goc has firmer and sweet-tastier than Ba khia in other regions. Ba khia Rach Goc is a specialty of Ca Mau province as well as Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. It can win the heart of any dinner for the first time.
The best time to eat the best Ba khia in Ca Mau is from August to October. Local people choose good Ba khia which have thin skins, red pincers, firm flesh, lots of eggs. Fresh Ba khia are washed, marinated. The cook should follow a right ratio of crabs to spices so that it is salty enough and the color of the crab shells still remains the same as it is alive after 3 weeks.
The most delicious and famous dish from Ba khia is Fermented three-striped crab (Mam ba khia). Besides, the crab is also used to cook a wide range of great dishes such as Toasted three-striped crab with unrefined salt (Ba khia rang muoi), Toasted three-striped crab with tamarind (Ba khia rang me), Steamed three-striped crab with beer (Ba khia hap bia), Deep-fried three-striped crab (Ba khia chien gion), Stir-fried three-striped crab with Vietnamese mint (Ba khia xao rau ram), Stir-fried three-striped crab with sautee (Ba khia xao sa te), Fried three-striped crab with fish sauce (Ba khia rang nuoc mam), etc.
Salad with three-striped crab (Goi Ba khia) is an excellent recipe. To make this salad, big Ba khia are chosen, washed with warm water. Then remove their shells, gills, and claws; shred into small pieces, beat pincers and walking legs. After that, marinate the crabs with wine, sugar, garlic, chili pepper, lemongrass and leave it until the next day. When eating, mix the Ba khia with julienned (or shredded) papaya, Vietnamese mint, and lime juice. Vietnamese people usually eat Goi Ba khia with steamed rice or rice noodles.
Salt-preserved three-striped crab (Ba khia muoi) made by Rach Goc people is an impressive and unique dish. The sauce of Ba khia muoi is distinctly flavorful. There is no better than eating boiled pork, fish and herbs with this broth.
Each specialty food of Ca Mau has its unique taste and smell. Ba khia Rach Goc is an invaluable gift from Mother Nature to Ca Mau people as well as Vietnamese people. Your trip to Mekong Delta could not be considered as complete if you miss amazing dishes from Ba Khia. Live and eat like locals. That is the right way to make your trip unforgettable.