• Vietnam Food Safari

Crab Blood Pudding of Phu Quoc “Tiết canh cua Phú Quốc”

Crab Blood Pudding of Phu Quoc “Tiết canh cua Phú Quốc”.

The island of Phu Quoc in Vietnam's far south is so stunning that it has earned the nickname "pearl island." Famous for its clear waters, powdery sand, and crisp air, this destination is a popular vacation spot. In addition to the stunning natural beauty, tourists may indulge in the region's "unique and hard to locate" culinary delights. Crab blood pudding, a "unique" dish found virtually solely in the seas of Phu Quoc, is a peculiar yet not-to-be-ignored delicacy.

This meal, so the locals say, has been around for quite some time. In the past, when fishermen had to go far from the beach to get their catch, they would break the crab's claws and drink the liquid within to stave off thirst since there was no means to reach the mainland. It's not fishy tasting and has a salty, somewhat sweet flavour that makes this beverage pleasant to consume.

Later, someone who skilfully processed the fluid in the crab's body and turned it into a meal discovered an exceptionally delicious dish, from which the crab blood pudding was developed.

Not all crabs create tasty blood pudding; to make blood pudding, the crabs must be sea crabs, and they must also be female crabs with a large amount of roe. If these requirements are met, the blood pudding will be more delicious and nutritious.

The fresher the crab, the greater the dish's flavour, sweetness, and nutritional value. Typically, three to four sea crabs are required to prepare a modest bowl of crab blood soup, and hefty, large crabs must be used. Therefore, this meal is generally deemed "expensive" and is not affordable to all diners with a small bowl for two people fetching $50 - $120 USD.

After initial processing, obtaining crab blood is the most crucial step. After being washed, bound tightly, vein here the claw joins the body is cut with sharp scissors whilst crabs are still alive. Blood from the legs of the crab pours freely and straight onto the dish of cooked crab meat. This is a long process, as the blood slowly drains from each crab until no more remains.

Once the blood has been added to a plate of steamed crab meat, that has been mixed with fresh herbs, and is left to congeal and set like jelly.

The uncooked roe is taken from the back of the crabs and is placed atop the plate followed by a roughly chopped coriander, and crushed roasted peanuts.

It comes with rice grilled paper, a variety of fresh herbs, sliced green banana, and sliced sour star fruit. Rice paper is used in place of a spoon to eat the pudding combining the fresh herbs, green banana, and star fruit, with each scoop.

In general, the flavour of Phu Quoc crab blood pudding is very difficult to describe. It has an exotic rich flavour of the sea, with a soft texture enhanced by fresh herbs from the cooked crab meat.

This dish is a must-experience for culinary travellers to beautiful Phu Quoc Island.