Ba Khia Crab

Purse khia is a three-striped crab that lives in the wetlands and considered a delicacy in the southern coastal provinces of Bac Lieu and California Mau. When it used to be a basically salty addition to most meals in the Mekong delta, it has now gained popularity in major cities and also in more elaborate ways than its previous simple food preparation.

Ba khia crabs have purplish pincers and 8-10 hairy legs. Their underbellies are usually ruddy and the insides are always flavorful with either an orange or grey color. They commonly dwell in brackish coastal mangrove woodlands where they hide all day long and emerge at night to look for food.

Honoring these tasty crabs, coastal harvesting communities in the region carry a weekend festival before the harvest season starts. The festival is usually celebrated on the 10th month of the lacra calendar wherein the harvesting community members wait for nightfall when the beings emerge to feed on
outlying branches. Crab predators harvest ba khia by shaking the trees strenuously, creating the crabs to fall off and put exposed. Children quickly decide on up the creatures make them in buckets and wives/mothers are already ready able to cook the delightful crabs.

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Emily Mun
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Rincy Van
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