It’s the famous Thai green salad, with crab. I’ve seen them make this on the beach and only locals eat it. At first I thought they were scorpions, large black insects thrown in and smashed up with the rest of the mix in those large mortar type wooden bowls that they use just to make this dish.
Fast forward I’m at my favorite local eatery in Jomtien Beach: Ran Nong Som. For just 50 baht, you can get the famous green papaya salad. It’s so hot and spicy it’s incendiary. Typically made with young unripe papaya, nice, crunchy and shredded. Bean sprouts, shredded carrot, tomato, a few Chinese long beans, crushed peanuts, dried shrimp, fish sauce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and tons of garlic. Raw garlic. I have learned to order it no spicy please, nit noy garlic (a little bit).
At Ran’s, they also have a version with salted pickled fish or crab. How exciting, I must try it. Well, it is crab, little tiny meatless crab, and not soft shell. Its hard as a rock, tooth crushing hard.
I’m not surprised to see the local Thai people eat this. After all, these are people who will put just about anything in their mouths. They open beer bottles with their teeth, and have some dishes that have like tree stumps and you know bamboo shoots and stuff like that. This hard shell crab must be good for the hair and the nails, I’ll try anything once.