Location : Kota Tarakan, Kalimantan Utara, Indonesia.
Soft-shell crab is a culinary term for crabs that have recently molted their old exoskeleton and are still soft. Soft-shells are removed from the water as soon as they molt to prevent any hardening of their shell. This means that almost the entire animal can be eaten, rather than having to shell the animal to reach the meat. The exceptions are the mouth parts, the gills and the abdominal cover, which, though edible when shells are very soft, are usually discarded (“cleaned”). The remaining, edible part of the crab is typically deep fried or sauteed. (Wiki)
After coming back from the islands a dinner was organized for the delegates and I casually asked Mr Ivan if there was anything he would like Bombastic Borneo help promote. His instant reply was ‘Kepiting Soka’. Luckily, I understood what he was saying as we had ever helped promote one such farm years ago in the island of Pulau Laut in South Kalimantan. I could not have agreed faster.
By the way, kepiting soka is a popular delicacy where juvenile crabs are harvested right after moulting when their shells have not hardened yet. The shells usually harden in 3 hrs. They are immediately soaked in cold water and individually packed with cling film, frozen and exported to foreign restaurants and in this case the restaurants in Sabah catering to extravagant Chinese tourists. These soft shell crabs are then deep fried and eaten whole with dipping sauce. Super yummy crunchy!
So off we went with our guide Ricky personally leading the 2 of us on this private tour to visit Pak Ian’s crab farm. Meanwhile, the other delegates were on their way to the ‘Proboscis monkey Park’ in town which we had covered twice before on different visits.
Pak Ian’s farm looked very basic but he had quite many other things going on besides crab. His two freezers were full of blue legged prawns, sea prawns, abalone and we saw live betutu fish or ‘soon hock’ and 3 workers were spray cleaning huge cockles too.
As a gesture of goodwill, we ordered for a kilogram of the crab so we could shoot how it was prepared there and then, thanks to Pak Ian’s wife.
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Also please check out our posts on our Fam Trip Journey: