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After watching a episode of Bizarre Foods from Thailand I saw these folks were consuming mole crabs aka sand fleas. In the Treasure Coast we have them in abundance and if you have the right equipment and a little technique gathering a few is a cinch. These little crustaceans are typically used as bait for tasty surf zone fish such as pompano, whiting and the like. Turns out they are not just pompano candy but a tasty snack for anyone that enjoys seafood. Cleaning them is a matter of running them under cold water in a colander and removing a small appendage they use to dig into the sand. First you twist the little tail off and follow by giving them a gentle squeeze to coax out any remaining grit (ie poop) they have in their bodies. Rinse one more time, pat dry then dredge them in a combination of corn starch, salt and a little powdered garlic. You can add other spices to the mix but our first batch we went minimalist to preserve the authentic taste of the "fleas". I used a deep fryer set to the highest temp setting. Wait till they float, remove and allow them to cool some. Dip in any sauce you like and crunch and munch. We set out regular cocktail sauce and a grated ginger thai style sauce.

Don't worry about the shell and feet when fried they become very crunchy like "tater" chips and the taste of the crab meat and their roe is what comes through. Being reduced to eating the bait may sometimes be seen as the sign of a bad fisherman but at least your not going hungry. Enjoy!

PS the Thai also prepared them tempura style....I enjoy my seafood more with the less fried dough it has attached but I know many folks like the sauce absorbing properties and added taste and texture of tempura.

 

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I know money is tight with the economy and all, but....

I don't think I'd ever be hungry enough to eat them. They practically drown in their own excrement. :eek: Course they can't be any chittier than blue crabs. :rolleyes:

Since seeing mole crabs in that different light....I might not be able to bring myself to using em as bait anymore. That deep fried image is sorta sticking in my mind. My mouth is watering....and not from anticipation of consuming em. Excess saliva is usually the first sign that I'm about to :--|.
:redface:

Hope I don't dream of giant ones taking revenge on me. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
They are tasty. Like fried shrimp. Their digestive system seems pretty straight foward...straight in...straight out...doesn't seem like they spend much time digesting...more like filtering the stuff they consume vs the sand particles that come with it. The poop looks like shrimp poop and even in shrimp you have the mud-vein running from it's head to it's tail so I don't see much of a difference. If you can't bring yourself to eat one I understand...even I had some reservations about soft shell blues until the first time I ate one of their golden fried asses....now if you get between me and a soft shell you have to watch your fingers :D

Also it is not about being so hungry that I HAVE to eat them...it's about trying something different....I easily catch 10 times the fish I can eat every season.
 

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I bet if you got some soft shell sand fleas and fried 'em up you would have a treat. Dayum I'm starting to sound like a Sea Mullet.
 

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After watching a episode of Bizarre Foods from Thailand I saw these folks were consuming mole crabs aka sand fleas. In the Treasure Coast we have them in abundance and if you have the right equipment and a little technique gathering a few is a cinch. These little crustaceans are typically used as bait for tasty surf zone fish such as pompano, whiting and the like. Turns out they are not just pompano candy but a tasty snack for anyone that enjoys seafood. Cleaning them is a matter of running them under cold water in a colander and removing a small appendage they use to dig into the sand. First you twist the little tail off and follow by giving them a gentle squeeze to coax out any remaining grit (ie poop) they have in their bodies. Rinse one more time, pat dry then dredge them in a combination of corn starch, salt and a little powdered garlic. You can add other spices to the mix but our first batch we went minimalist to preserve the authentic taste of the "fleas". I used a deep fryer set to the highest temp setting. Wait till they float, remove and allow them to cool some. Dip in any sauce you like and crunch and munch. We set out regular cocktail sauce and a grated ginger thai style sauce.

Don't worry about the shell and feet when fried they become very crunchy like "tater" chips and the taste of the crab meat and their roe is what comes through. Being reduced to eating the bait may sometimes be seen as the sign of a bad fisherman but at least your not going hungry. Enjoy!

PS the Thai also prepared them tempura style....I enjoy my seafood more with the less fried dough it has attached but I know many folks like the sauce absorbing properties and added taste and texture of tempura.

Yep that was a good show.
 

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I remember watching my pop suck the barnacles off a piece of wood he caught; being Portuguese if it came from the sea he ate it. But I never, ever saw him eat a mole crab. To bad he's still not around, I'd serve him up a dish...but not me. I'm allergic to shellfish (thank GOD! <LOL>.
 

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i've eaten them... they're pretty tastey! then again, i am a certified fat-kid...
 

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I got a bucket of steamed oysters we got at a bar last spring. There was a mole crab hiding in almost every one. My buddy tries one (he's Philipino) and says "these are good", so I tried one too and they weren't bad. They tasted kind of like crawdads. Eating the shell and all was a bit much for a honky like me, but I could see where they would be good deep-fried.
 

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Hell, people eat fried grass hoppers and tarantulas. Why not mole crabs?

Now maybe if I ever get on Survivor Island OBX, I'll be good to go on the eatin part!
 

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I got a bucket of steamed oysters we got at a bar last spring. There was a mole crab hiding in almost every one. My buddy tries one (he's Philipino) and says "these are good", so I tried one too and they weren't bad. They tasted kind of like crawdads. Eating the shell and all was a bit much for a honky like me, but I could see where they would be good deep-fried.
I don't think you're talking about "Mole Crab's, (aka Sand Fleas). Those little crabs that live in Oysters are Pinnotheres ostreum. Others, correct me if I'm wrong. I've cosumed some of these bugger's that are found in Oysters:



Skunk
 

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SkunkApe - I ate a bunch of oysters this week and I take it back, you are right they were oyster crabs. I blame the highly impaired state I was in the last time I ate oysters... I mean very highly impaired.
 

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Cant be any worse than Hot Dogs,,,,,,,

My uncle worked for a meat packing house in Iowa, for 5 years he said what goes into them is the worst.. Think of this nothing is wasted..... were talking Intestine,worms,Maggots,other by products it all gets ground together oh by the way it goes for the Kosher ones as well. To this day he will not eat a Hot Dog.

By comparison the Mole Crab may not be so Bad at least you know what your eating.
 
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