Field crab - A special food of the countryside

In the fields of Southern Vietnam, when the rice is about to grown up, after some heavy rain, there would be a lot of craps. Based on their shape and color, they have many names: stone crap, dark crap, fragrant crap… From these craps, people can create many kinds of delicious dishes.

Field craps reproduce all year round. They make their caves along the path of the rice field or the drain plough...That can cause some damage for the field since they usually eat the early rice.

The female crap is smaller than the male crap, but there are more female than male.
We can catch many craps in the early morning, the meat from craps provide much protein for our health.

The easiest way to cook craps is to boil, then using them with chili, garlic and fish sauce. Another way is omitting their legs, fry them with salt and cracklings, then eating with rice, very delicious! With Vietnamese people in Southern, the crap soup is very popular.

To make such a tasty pot of crap soup, we only need about twenty craps, some branches of the taro tree, a little of winged bean, star fruit, green banana and tamarind.

Another delicious kind of crap soup is soup with vermicelli and water mimosa. It would be very great to enjoy this soup in the hot summer. To make it, we have to grind the craps, mix them with water and then filter the mixture to get the water remain.

Next, flavor and cook it with the water mimosa. For the crab-roe, we have to distil it with eggs. Doing so would make the mixture become yellowish and more delicious. Pour this over the bowl of crap soup would make the dish more tasty.

We can also make crap soup with other kinds of vegetable like purslane, pot-herbs or fragrant cynanthe…These kinds of soup are not only savory but also very good for health, they can help to reduce the heat in your body and we can use them as a kind of antidote. Baked crap is also a favorite food of the children.

One more different dish is rice spaghetti cooked with crap. Actually, it is quite difficult to make this dish, since you have to grind the rice flour, cook it and then cut it into pieces, put it in cold water and after get it out, wait until it is dry.

For the crabs, take the crab-roe out and grind the crabs, then filter to get the first water, omit the remain. Finally, put all in boiling water. We can add a little coconut milk to make it taste fatter.

We can also make salted craps. For the fresh salted craps, before eating, we have to grind and then filter, add some salt then boil it with ginger, chili and bamboo shoot. We can eat it with either rice or vermicelli.

For the ferment craps, we can maintain it longer. The process is quite the same. Wash the craps, grind them and flavor with salt, put them in a glass bottle then air the bottle under sunshine for three days.

If we make it in rainy season then put the bottle beside the oven for one week. We can also use this kind of salted craps with river fish by baking the fish and then pour the crap sauce over with some ginger, and chili. All the taste: salty, sweet and sour mix together to create such an unforgettable aftertaste. – Translated by Vu Minh

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