The Amazing Coconut Crab of Kokusaidori Yatai Mura
This video, titled "Japanese Street Food - GIANT COCONUT CRAB Seafood Okinawa Japan," introduces the coconut crab sold at food trucks in Okinawa.
Coconut crabs are huge crustaceans that live in Okinawa Prefecture.
They have a history of being eaten as a delicacy in some parts of Okinawa since ancient times.
At Kokusaidori Yatai Mura in Naha City, Okinawa, one of Okinawa's most popular tourist destinations, you can eat gigantic coconut crab dishes.
Sometimes called "Okinawa's strange specialty," coconut crab is surprisingly delicious thanks to its plump texture and the delicious broth that can be made from it.
How is the Coconut Crab Prepared?
Coconut crab dishes can be eaten at Okinawan food stalls for as little as a few thousand yen.
Coconut crab dishes are made in much the same way as normal crab dishes; however, the shells of coconut crab are hard, making them difficult to prepare sometimes.
At most of the food stalls, they boil a whole coconut crab, remove the shell, and eat it with sauce and broth.
What Kind of Creatures are Coconut Crab
Coconut crabs look like crabs, but they're actually hermit crabs.
In Japanese, they're called "yashi-gani" (椰子蟹 in Chinese characters or the more common ヤシガニ in katakana).
Coconut crabs inhabit Miyako Island, Ishigaki Island, and Iriomote Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and the largest crabs can grow more than 40 cm in length and weigh more than 4 kg!
The coconut crab is said to be the strongest crustacean, and its clamping force of its giant pincers is about 90 times its weight, which is about as strong as a lion's bite!
Fisherman must be very careful when catching coconut crabs, as not to get injured.
Points of Caution When Eating Coconut Crab at a Food Stall
Because coconut crabs are omnivores and eat dead or rotten fish carcasses, they can accumulate pathogens in their bodies.
Coconut crabs that have accumulated these pathogens can cause food poisoning if eaten even after cooking them, so be careful.
Coconut is a valuable food item that is rarely eaten nowadays, partly because it is listed as an endangered species.
Summary of the Coconut Crab at Okinawa's Food Stalls
The Okinawan culture of eating giant coconut crabs dates all the way back to ancient Japan.
There are many gourmet specialties at Okinawan food stalls, such as chanpuru, rafute, mimigaa (pig's ear) and umibudo (sea grapes).
If you travel to Okinawa, be sure to try the coconut crab sold at one of the many food stalls!