I ate it.

Yashigani or coconut crabs live in the Indian and Central Pacific regions. I have never seen one in Tokyo, therefore, although it's quite pricey (4000yen for a small one at 500 grams), I knew I had to try it.

They are terrestrial and have fluffier meat than their aquatic counterparts. The body is bulbous with sprawling legs and looks more like a tarantula than a Blue or Dungeness crab.

The crab was first shown to us in its "before" stages prior to the chef breaking it apart for easier consumption.

It later came to us like this. The star body part is that circular portion pictured here, containing the Kani Miso (or crab brain). The texture and taste was reminiscent of Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Curry), without the chicken chunks. Oh my god, it was mind-blowing. Umami!

It took a little over 30 minutes to eat every strand and savory sweetness of the meat and kani miso. No conversation, just the cracking and peeling of legs.

Props to Jinbei, the fine establishment where we made friends with locals including the owner. Sigh... I want to go back so bad.

Local Osamu-san, Washi, and the owner of Jinbei

Here are some other dishes we indulged in at Jinbei:

Moriawase (chef's assortment) Sashimi, Kabosu citrus rocks

Really, really good fish fingers

I forgot the name of this fish, but it's common in Okinawa. Lots of flavor in the meat and bones. Lots of crunch, very satisfying.

So this is my final post regarding my Ishigaki-jima trip. As mentioned in the first post, I saved the best for last.

Okinawa-ken, Ishigaki-shi
Kabira 906

T: 0980-84-4819

*Read all of Yoko's Ishigaki Travels
Dream Shop TOMORU
Fruit Fetish
Do the Gyu, OG Style



  • GORGEOUS!!! i love me some crab guts.

    definitely want Washi’s shirt!

    kayoko on

  • dude this is just sick.

    ayagwa on

  • I heard it tastes sweet like coconut?? Does it for real?

    Sonja on

  • Hey Andre, Thanks!

    Now I remember that they were calling it gurukun. Mmmm. Can’t wait to have it again.

    yoko on

  • hey yoko the fish is called on the mainland: タカサゴ (takasago) but here in okinawa we call it: グルクン (gurukun)…cheers!

    andre gessner on

  • Hi Yoko,

    Nice post. I actually live on Ishigaki island and I’m always keeping an eye out for these coconut crabs. I saw a huge one down at Maezato beach last year…amazing that it had got so big without ending up on somebody’s dinner plate given the number of people around there.

    I run a website about the island. Please take a look if you get the time(linked via my name). Hope that you get the chance to make it back here one day!

    Richard on

  • hey yoko – no problem…let me know when u are back in ishigaki…i can show you some very authentic yaeyama izakaya places…in the meantime visit there will be soon in the ishigaki section also a izakaya and bar guide…just now working on it…but is always so much drinking lol…anyway don’t eat so much of the yashigani…it’s ever harder to find them..they are beautiful to watch in nature…did u know that they getting 60 years old if nobody eats them before…

    andre on

  • Thanks for the comment Richard! I fell in love with Ishigaki-jima when I was there. I am so jealous that you live there. I hope to go back again sometime. It’s a magical place.

    yoko on

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