kinirog a kappi, stir-fried river crabs

Kinirog a kappi.
Kappi. Or kippi (as some folks in Ilocos Norte call it). Or agatol or akasit (as we call it in Nueva Vizcaya). River or freshwater crabs, or crablets for that matter because these are small crabs compared to say, the humungous rasa (mudcrab). As a child in our place, a farming community, we used to catch agatols in creeks, streams, ponds and my mother would kirog (stir-fry) it with just salt. It's so good with a vinegar as a dip, especially when the it has lots of that delicious pula, the most-sought after fat in a crab. Besides stir-frying, kappi can also be made into a delicious ginettaan a kappi (crab in coconut milk) as a sagpaw (add-on) to a dinengdeng.

And lo and behold, crawling, clawing kappi live from Buguey:

I immediately washed and rinsed them and pardon me, kappi rights advocates, I stir-fried it still wiggling and running, in a wok. This time, aside from salt, I added some cracked pepper, crushed garlic, and chili powder, I wanted it more fragrant and "hot and spicy."

I kept on stirring, frying, until the crabs are completely dry and almost crunchy.

Yeah, just stir-fry it, it's that simple, quick and easy.

And it's ready: kinirog a kappi!

Cracked open to expose some pula, dip it in plain vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar here, suka ti basi [Ilocos cane vinegar] would have been prefect but not available at eating time) and consume the essentials (meat and fat). The added spices is just right, it enhanced flavor and that distinct crabby aroma.

... or with suka with fermented sili if you relish a hotter kappi goodness:.

And this, if you want some soup, kappi in a dinengdeng:
(Photo from Ilocano ak Kuripot nak)