Da crab – A specialty of Yen Dung district

Update: 10:04 | 06/11/2018

(BGO) - Yen Dung district of Bac Giang province is famous not only for its destinations such as Vinh Nghiem Pagoda and Truc Lam-Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery but also for a special product that will make you remember forever once eating. It is Da (skin) crab.

Related newsDa crab, specialty of Yen Dung district, Bac Giang province, special product, rare species, Da crab population, living environment changes, largest volume,  famous landscapes

"Honestly, I have joined many parties and exchanges in different places but it is the first time I have eaten this kind of crab. It is delicious! I will definitely take my friends here to enjoy it," complimented Tran Van Long, one of my close friends from Hanoi, after he was invited to enjoy the food by several friends in Yen Dung a few days ago. Long's praise is also that of many other people when eating Da crab.

Da crab, specialty of Yen Dung district, Bac Giang province, special product, rare species, Da crab population, living environment changes, largest volume,  famous landscapes

Da crabs are made into many dishes.

According to the explanation of locals, it is called Da crab because it has a skin on nippers. Some people call it "ra (going out) crab" because it is related to the proverb "crabs scrawl out in September and scrawl in during March”. However, Da crab is still more popular. This crab lives mainly in the rapids along the Thuong River and part of the Cau River flowing through Dong Viet, Dong Phuc, Duc Giang and Thang Cuong communes.

Regarding appearance, Da crabs nearly look like field crabs but their size and weight is 3-4 times larger (80-200gram per head on average). They have long legs and their two nippers are covered with a layer of hair. The Da crab season only lasts from the ninth to the 11th lunar month.

Tran Duc Chien, a “clinking” chef of Thuong Cuc restaurant in Neo township (Yen Dung district), shared that compared with field and sea crabs, Da crab meat is sweeter and more delicious and their cover is soft and thin. When being cooked, their cover becomes very attractive and eye-catching. When eating, people do not need to use pliers to break crab cover and nippers.

Da crab can be processed into many dishes such as those steamed with beer and roasted with salt or tamarind, soup and hotspot ... but probably the most delicious is Da crab steamed with beer, ginger and citronella, eaten together with salt and mustard. If a table with six people eating only crabs with some side dishes costs about 1.5-1.8 million VND. As a rare species, sometimes, people who want to eat Da crabs must order 1-2 days before.

Da crab, specialty of Yen Dung district, Bac Giang province, special product, rare species, Da crab population, living environment changes, largest volume,  famous landscapes

The most delicious is Da crab steamed with beer, ginger and citronella.

To "hunt" Da crabs, river inhabitants have to work hard and understand their characteristics and habitats. Tran Van Luan, a native of Dong Viet commune, who has been working as a fisherman for nearly 20 years and he is also an experienced Da crab "hunter", said: Previously, the Da crab population was very large but in recent years, due to living environment changes and increasing demand, the crabs are becoming fewer. 

They usually live in the river bed. If we want to catch them, we must use the eight-sign nets. When the water level rises, the crabs float and travel a lot. But when the water level goes down, the crabs lie in a place and move less so it is difficult to catch them.

Every day, at about 7pm, he uses a boat to put the net to the bottom of the river. By 2-3am the next morning, he pulls up the net. The largest volume is only 3-4 kg per day. "If restaurants want to buy much, our brothers must gather all we catch together," Luan said.

Da crab, specialty of Yen Dung district, Bac Giang province, special product, rare species, Da crab population, living environment changes, largest volume,  famous landscapes

Da crabs hotspot.

On average, each kilo of Da crabs delivered to restaurants costs from 300,000-400,000 VND, depending on the type. Many traders from Bac Ninh and Hai Duong also come to buy the crabs but the quantity is not large. At present, there are about 20 people specializing in catching Da crabs along the Cau and Thuong Rivers. Dishes from Da crabs now appear on luxury party tables at restaurants and hotels.

Coming to Yen Dung these days, in the cool weather of the late autumn, visitors not only visit and contemplate the famous landscapes in the land of the Phoenix but also enjoy the attractive Da crab dishes. That is why tourists have many impressions when visiting this land.

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Cong Doanh

 
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