Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the Season for Hairy Crab

Yes, it's hairy. Hence its name in English. However, its name in Chinese (大閘蟹) does not have hair in any of its words. I've never had it before until recently in Hong Kong. I was there just in time for hairy crab season. Eating this type of crab was an experience in itself.

Above, the hair up close

Chinese people say eating crabs have a cooling (涼) effect. They describe watermelons the same way. I haven't grasped that meaning in its entirety; I only know that too much of food with a cooling effect is supposedly bad for you. Apparently, there's a remedy for it - ginger tea. The tea was quite good; I would have it any time.

Above, a cooked hairy crab

These crabs are prized for their tasty roe. As for eating these creatures...most of them are the size of your hand. The easiest and most popular way to dig into these is with a pair of scissors with thin small blades and a utensil similar to a small knife that can maneuver around the cavity inside. Even with those tools, eating hairy crab was still quite a task. It took a while to cut and dig. I can't say it was well worth the work because there wasn't much meat in the crab. But hey, at least I can say I've had hairy crab.

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