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Coconut Crab

Quine Feb 28, 2011 02:24 PM

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?

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  1. h
    HillJ RE: Quine Feb 28, 2011 03:47 PM

    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
      Quine RE: HillJ Feb 28, 2011 04:01 PM

      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
        HillJ RE: Quine Feb 28, 2011 04:07 PM

        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. b
      Breezychow RE: Quine Feb 28, 2011 04:08 PM

      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
        HillJ RE: Breezychow Feb 28, 2011 04:13 PM

        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
          Quine RE: Breezychow Feb 28, 2011 04:19 PM

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

        2. KaimukiMan RE: Quine Feb 28, 2011 08:50 PM

          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
            jumpingmonk RE: KaimukiMan Mar 1, 2011 02:51 AM

            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. j
            joonjoon RE: Quine Mar 3, 2011 01:19 PM

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: joonjoon
              KaimukiMan RE: joonjoon Mar 3, 2011 01:52 PM

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

              1. re: joonjoon
                woodleyparkhound RE: joonjoon Mar 4, 2011 09:19 AM

                the Philippines

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