Spanner Crabs in Phuket
This is something new I discovered in Phuket. I was traveling around Southern Thailand with my friends for almost two weeks and when we were traveling from Phuket to the mainland, we stopped at the food stalls after passing by the Phuket Bridge.
You can find food stalls selling fruits such as pineapples and dried seafood such as dried anchovies, dried shrimps and dried cuttlefish.
This is one of the food that caught our attention is this weird looking “creature” in big steamers. This “thing” never impressed me on first impression. It has hard shells and it looks like mini “kaiju”.
To our surprise, the local sellers told us this is a crab! Well, we have seen many types of crabs in our life but this is our first. Thus, I did some research and found out this is called Spanner Crabs.
The Spanner crab is Ranina Ranina or also known as red frog crab. It is popular long the east coast of Australia, from Yeppoon in Queensland to Nowra on the south coast of New South Wales. There is also a population to the north of Perth in Western Australia. These crabs are also found in the eastern coast of Africa, across the Indian Ocean to Indonesia, Japan and Hawaii and Vietnam according to Wikipedia but seeing this in Phuket Thailand is bonus.
We bought a kilo of the steamed spanner crabs and they are cheap. We got a few crabs for 100 Baht. Thus, we stopped by at a nearby restaurant in Phang Nga to taste it. To eat this, you need to peel of the main shell and the meat taste exactly like the usual crabs. You need to get your hands dirty to eat this and there is no meat in the claws or legs unlike the usual crabs. The meat is fresh and juicy despite its ugly looking. This is definitely worth to try.
Please take note that these spanner crabs are seasonal and on our recent trip to Phuket we find none in the same food stalls near the Phuket Bridge.
The best way to travel around Phuket is by self drive. Self drive in Thailand is safe, fun and easy.