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October 31, 2011 / samgrowdon

Anyone for Hairy Crabs?

*giggle giggle*

No, not those ones, rather the ones that seem to be the biggest thing to eat in HK this time of year!

10 hairy crabs waiting in the tank... la la la !

In the last month, as I walk through the streets of Sheung Wan I’ve notice little “pop-up” stalls full of these creatures all bound in bamboo string, lined up in glass cabinets waiting to be bought.
I spent a few minutes watching a stall owner as he fished one of these sort-after crustaceans out of the tank alive, put it in a basket and then take one out, wrap it in bamboo straw so the claws are strung against its body and then placed on the shelf waiting for a buyer.

So, what makes these crabs better than others? Apparently this Shanghainese delicacy is well known for it’s sweeter roe (found in both the male & female crabs), and they’re only eaten in Autumn, from September through to November. It seems these little clawed sea-creatures are mostly steamed and turn from a muddy green colour to a reddish colour once cooked and appear on most restaurant menus at this time of year.

I can’t say I’ve tried them yet, I really think I should since it’s such a Hong Kong thing, but after seeing them in the tank, knowing that they’re sitting alive on the shelf has just put me off a bit (the Karma of that circle just doesn’t sit well with me).

I guess I’ve got till December to make up my mind!

Waiting in the basket...

Tied with bamboo string...

Stacked in the basket...

and put on the shelf for a buyer...

... or a queue of buyers!

Go on, have an opinion... leave a comment!

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