Friday, July 22, 2016


The full moon hanging in the dark night sky, its light reflecting in the calm waters of the sea. A basket in my hands, waiting for small crabs to emerge from their sandy holes. My cousins and I squeal in delight as we trap the crustaceans rushing to the foams of seawater rolling in the shore.

This is the first memory I have of close encounters with crabs. I grew up enjoying the hard-shelled crustaceans boiled, broiled or battered.  And whenever I come across crab that I enjoy thoroughly, I always remember that night when I was seven at the beach in my father's hometown.

Back in 2009, I had the chance to visit Hawaii and taste one of the best crabs I had ever come across.

Hawaii looked and felt very much like the Philippines but with wider streets and outdoor airconditioning. Think Subic structures, with the view of Ilocos and  Baguio weather. I did the touristy things like visit the Polynesian Cultural Center where I got a taste of native Hawaiian delicacies like poi, made of mashed kalo (or taro). Unlike the ube, poi is not eaten sweet but usually with meat.
I'm an amateur when it comes to posing for the camera!
Also visited the Pearl Harbor and rode a submarine to see porpoise swimming amidst World War II wreckage.

Where does the crab come in?

At the Blue Water Shrimp and Seafood shack along Kuiho Avenue. Found this place when my travel buddy and I were trying to find our way back to the hotel after a morning of swimming at the Waikiki beach. People were lined up in front of a bus-turned-food truck, eagerly waiting for their food. That was a sign that this place served good food. So we lined up, too.

We had a look at what other people were having and ordered the Ahi and Garlic shrimp platter which was served with a trio of carbs- rice, corn and garlic bread.  The shrimps and fish were grilled and the Ahi was coated in black sesame.

We also shared a plateful of Garlic Clams. Buttery, garlicky and with a bit of tang coming from the fresh tomatoes which it was sauteed with.
Then I saw them serve up snow crabs to the lady beside me. Couldn't help myself and ordered one for myself. It was the best decision I ever made in Hawaii. Snow crabs tend to be thinner and less fleshy than the alimasag (blue crabs) that are commonly found in Philippine we markets. They are named such since these long-legged crustaceans are often found in cold northern oceans. They were simply boiled and that brought out the freshness. I could taste the subtle sweetness of the flesh underneath the saltiness, a sign of freshness in seafood.

When food is this good, it makes you want to come back. So was thinking of Hawaii a few hours back and went searching for this food truck and sadly found out that they have closed.  It's a pity but I'm just glad that I got an honest taste of Hawaii when I had the chance.

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