Puu Naa, Rice Paddy Crab

October 16, 2012

Puu naa is a freshwater crab that occurs in Thai rice fields.  They are a soft shell crab and are eaten whole in Thai cuisine

Because puu naa eat immature rice, farmers consider these crabs a pest.  When the paddies begin to dry, the crabs dig into the soft ridge left at the edge of the water.  They hibernate here during the dry season.

Their flavor is said to be at its best while hibernating. At this point, they are easily recovered from their shallow holes.

Puu naa are eaten boiled, salted and roasted, or pickled.  They are a common addition to papaya salad in Thailand.  These small crabs must be fresh since they quickly spoil.

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