Horseshoe Crab – A Must-Try Delicacy of Ha Long

Ha Long is a beautiful tourist site in Vietnam with majestic natural scenery and many unique dishes. Among many of Ha Long's cuisines, the horseshoe crab is a dish that is both nutritious and has unique and elaborate preparation methods that visitors should try when they visit Ha Long.


Difficulties in catching horseshoe crabs

When it comes to the horseshoe crab, people often refer to the adage about couples: “stick together like horseshoe crab”. In the open sea, horseshoe crabs often come in pairs and fishermen do not often catch odd horseshoe crabs. Usually, when only one horseshoe crab is caught, the fishermen will release it into the sea out of respect for the faithful legend of the horseshoe crab. But to catch horseshoe crab, the fisherman must calculate the water and calculate the date to set sail.

Horseshoe Crab - A Must-Try Delicacy of Ha Long
Photo: frostscience

The fisherman also needs to distinguish between the horseshoe crab and the sorrel. Con horseshoe crabs mostly come in pairs, but sorrels usually live by themselves. It looks a lot like a female horseshoe crab, only smaller in size and has a deeper hollow mouth. For those who have been on the beach for a long time, distinguishing horseshoe crab from sorrel is not difficult. As for newcomers, with not much experience, they may be confused. The sorrel is different from the horseshoe crab, when humans eat sorrel it often causes stomachache.

Horseshoe crab can currently only be caught in the wild and cannot be farmed. When people catch a horseshoe crab from the sea, it can only live for 3 days. Therefore, there are not many restaurants in Ha Long that sell this dish even though it is a famous tourist specialty of Ha Long.

Difficulties in cooking horseshoe crabs

Although fishing for horseshoe crabs is quite difficult, it is not as difficult as catching sea slugs. However, the processing stage is much more elaborate. First, the processor must distinguish whether the horseshoe crab eats jellyfish or not. When the horseshoe crab eats jellyfish, its intestines and liver contain extremely toxic substances, which can be deadly. It takes a lot of experience to know that.

Next, when dissecting a horseshoe crab, the processor must make sure that the liver and intestines are not broken, and the meat is not bitter. For a whole horseshoe crab, the maker can only use the belly and the egg. The horseshoe crab is a dish with soldering properties, so when processing, it requires the cook to mix other fiery spices to balance the dish.

After the preliminary processing, horseshoe crabs are used to make many delicious dishes. In Ha Long, there is only one famous street that cooks delicious horseshoe crabs, called Sam street. Visitors can come to this street to enjoy dishes from horseshoe crabs.

Horseshoe Crab - A Must-Try Delicacy of Ha Long

Delicious dishes made from horseshoe crab

Many tourists say that anyone traveling to Ha Long should try horseshoe crab because dishes made from horseshoe crab are really delicious and nutritious.

Horseshoe Crab - A Must-Try Delicacy of Ha Long
Photo: Pinterest

Here are some delicious dishes from horseshoe crab: grilled horseshoe crab with egg, horseshoe crab salad, sweet and sour fried horseshoe crab legs, deep fried horseshoe crab eggs, stir-fried horseshoe crab with chili, fried horseshoe crab, grilled horseshoe crab cartilage, and stir-fried horseshoe crab with vermicelli. The common feature of these dishes is the attractive aroma, and the rich and sweet taste of horseshoe crab mixed with other delicious spices.

Usually, when a fisherman catches a female horseshoe crab during the breeding season, they will be able to make grilled horseshoe crab eggs. This dish is eaten with sour grapefruit, herbs, roasted peanuts, pickled radish, garlic, and chili fish sauce. However, this dish is not recommended because catching horseshoe crab during the breeding season will affect the growth of this species.

In addition to being used for cooking, the shells of sea horseshoe crabs are also used to make very sophisticated souvenirs. However, most of Ha Long’s horseshoe crab shells are currently being exported to China.

Horseshoe Crab - A Must-Try Delicacy of Ha Long
Photo: topstreetfood

Some restaurants and eateries that sell famous horseshoe crab dishes in Ha Long are:

Mrs. Ty horseshoe crab: Lane 6, Cao Thang, Hon Gai.

There are horseshoe crab dishes that are very popular with diners such as horseshoe crab, horseshoe crab salad, sweet and sour fried horseshoe crab, and horseshoe crab eggs. The fried sweet and sour horseshoe crab has a very delicious sauce, sour and sweet taste, fragrant with the smell of guise leaves. The price of dishes is from USD 4.28/ dish.

Horseshoe crab restaurant: in Ha Long market

Visitors should ask the people at the market because this restaurant is located in a hard-to-find corner. The horseshoe crab dishes here are considered delicious, but the portion is a bit small, so the price is quite high. The price is from USD 1.28 to USD 3.85/ dish.

Dung Hoa restaurant: 95 group 5, zone 8, Hong Hai ward, Ha Long city.

The price of some horseshoe crab here is cheap but the quality is not high. However, the stir-fried horseshoe crab dishes here are quite good. The price is about USD 10.69 for a few horseshoe crab dishes.

Da Quang