HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Coconut Crab

I am just watching an episode of Iron Chef America and Chef Morimoto pulled out a baby coconut crab to use! OMG it looks very alien and that baby was at least 2 pounds. In the episode, Morimoto says he's never seen one, nor tried one (that idea is just boggling in itself) so I googled it.
Wiki says:
"The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit of terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in today's atmosphere. It is also known as the robber crab or palm thief, because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents."

And the images!

Anyone with any experiences, dining, cooking?

 
  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Looks more like a pet, than dinner! I'd love to learn more.

    eta: Ha! It would appear the coconut crab IS a popular pet for some!

    2 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Not when you read need a strong enough cage so coconut busting claws will not dismantle it or that it doesn't release so well if it gets you.
      Google it and check the images, is is also variously and richly hued.

      Morimoto was sorta Meh on the flavor but others liked it.

      1. re: Quine

        Same could be said of some lizard pets! Looks beautiful in a prehistoric sort of way but I don't think it would taste sweet or be anything much in flavor than say an aged lobster.

    2. Anthony Bourdain had an entire segment on Coconut Crabs on one of his "No Reservations" episodes - "Tahiti" perhaps?

      Anyway, he said they were delicious, if oily, & tasting very strongly of their coconut diet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Breezychow

        Interesting. Here I was thinking the coconut reference was strictly related to the hard shell. Well, I love coconuts but oily fish not so much. If I ever have the opportunity to try a prepared coconut crab, I will definately share my experience here.

        Upon further reading: "is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers to eat the contents"

        1. re: Breezychow

          TY Breezy, I'll have to look for that. Self basted shellfish, great!

        2. Back in college a friend who grew up in Guam said you have to be pretty hungry to eat coconut crab.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            They can also supposedly be somewhat dagerous, due to thier habit (reported, I don't know if confirmed) of sometimes confusing coconuts with the skulls of people who are napping on the beach.

          2. Wait so these are land-dwelling crabs? Where can I find them? They look delicious.

            2 Replies
            1. re: joonjoon

              yes, guam, allegedly they aren't worth the effort