In this short post, we’ll address the topic, “Can you Eat a Coconut Crab?” as well as describe how to cook a coconut crab.
Is it possible to eat a coconut crab?
Yes, a coconut crab can be eaten. Many islands consider coconut crab to be a delicacy, and the species’ survival has been threatened in some locations due to overharvesting and poaching.
What is the definition of a coconut crab?
It would be an exaggeration to claim that coconut crabs are gigantic. According to a Guinness World Records entry, the coconut crab is the largest crustacean that lives its whole adult life on land. It is also the largest land-dwelling arthropod, a class of invertebrates that includes, among other things, insects, spiders, and centipedes.
According to some sources, coconut crabs can live up to 60 years and achieve sexual maturity at the age of five. Between May and September is their mating season, after which the females lay their eggs in the water.
The larvae travel for four to six weeks after hatching, breeding and reproducing on floating coconuts, logs, or other rafts. They subsequently convert into glaucophane, shrimp-like organisms that descend to the seabed in search of a suitable snail shell to shield themselves from predators. They’ll next move closer to the beach, spending another four weeks at the high tide line before growing into juvenile crabs.
What is the best method for preparing coconut crab?
To begin, it’s important to understand that a tarantula’s front claws are extremely powerful, and they’re used to break apart the fibrous coconut shell.
Even if it was attached to the lid of the plastic box in which it was kept, the crab in Photograph 1 would not let go of anything it had grabbed. To pick it up, you must grab it across the back while simultaneously gripping the object’s front (largest) two legs. It’s not good if one of your fingers gets trapped in it.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil (half seawater, half freshwater is ideal), then add the live crab, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on its size. Take the crab out of the water and place it on a plate. Check on the crab frequently; it is ready to eat when it has developed a wonderful red color, as shown in the main image. If you overcook it, the abdomen will crack apart, spilling the greasy contents into your water and making a huge mess.
Remove the crab from the saucepan and set it aside to cool down for 15 minutes.
The crab has a tail that mimics the tail of a Spiny Lobster, but it is devoid of flesh and meat. The shape resembles that of an insect’s abdomen, soft and squishy, and packed with a viscous liquid or paste that the locals consider a delicacy. Pull the abdomen away from the rest of the body in a twisting motion.
Squeeze the abdomen now, and a light brown paste will emerge from the hole, ready to be spread on a fine piece of bread as a sandwich spread. It’s popular among the indigenous Polynesians, who call it “Fois Gras” — it’s bitter and has a coconut flavor, but it’s a learned taste that takes time to master.
Split the body apart after removing the legs and claws, as you would with any other crab or lobster.
Some flesh is also visible on the plate at the point where the legs and torso meet on one side. To get to the meat, separate the plate from the main body.
The flesh has a characteristic coconut flavor and is soft and delicate in texture, with a somewhat sweet flavor.
The coconut crab’s tenacity
Anyone who has ever tried to open a coconut knows how difficult it can be. Coconut crabs, with their two massive and muscular pincers, have no trouble pounding and tearing their way through a ripe coconut’s thick shell.
Crab pincers may become familiar if individuals try to pick up the animals from the front rather than the back. The pincers of coconut crabs have a serrated edge, which is often referred to as “teeth,” because they serve as teeth on the front claws of these crabs. They’re used to crack open coconuts.
We answered the topic, “Can you Eat a Coconut Crab?” as well as detailing the coconut crab cooking procedure in this short essay.