The end of October means two things – either it is time for trick or treat, or it is hairy crab season. But actually, it is time for both.
As soon as the temperatures fall (and that means it is only 22-24 degrees warm and less humid than in summer) lots of vendors start putting big fridges at the shop entrance and display lots of different sizes of hairy crabs.
So what is hairy crab, after all? Shanghai Hairy Crab, originally called the Mitten Crab, is a seasonal delicacy in the Chinese menu. The name hairy crab derives from its thick layer of hair growing on the underside of its pincers. It is a fresh water crab and the most famous one comes from the Yangcheng Lake.
The essence of Hairy Crab lies in the roe. Timing is the Key! In the ninth month of the Lunar Calendar, female crabs are filled with protein and roe; by the tenth month, it is the male crab that filled with roe and tender flesh.
How to enjoy the hairy crab? The most common recipe is to steam it with perilla leaves. Here are some more suggestions:
- Visit Victoria at The Drawingboard
- Have a look at how Razlan cooks them at home
- Grace from Salt & Chili also shared some do’s and don’ts which should help you enjoy hairy crabs