One of the simplest and most popular ways of enjoying crabs is to order them streamed (neung) and served with a number of different sauces. The one which compliments the flavor of the crab, according locals, is prik manao, a mixture of chopped chilies, lime juice, garlic and soy sauce.
For a more interesting dish, you might want to try fried blue crabs with curry sauce (poo pat pong gari). There’s also poo ta le pahd pong gari, which is made tangier by the addition of spring onions, and poo too ka-teum phrik Thai that’s flavored with garlic and pepper. A milder alternative is Chinese-style hot pot crab with vermicelli (poo op wun sen). In some hotel menus, one can order the special mud crabs that must be cooked alive to get the best taste.
Unlike blue crabs, which are sought mainly for their body meat, connoisseurs of mud crabs go for the claws, the meat of which is said to be superior to that found under the shell. Some restaurants suggest reservations since preparing mud crab dishes take some time thanks to their thick shells.
For those who don’t want to wait, there’s always fried stuffed crabs (poo ja), which is basically crab meat, pork, eggs and spices cooked in the shell. Try also mud crabs cooked in coconut milk and deep-fried crab skulls dish (kanchiang poo neung).