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Autumn Delicacy -- Chinese Hairy Crab

 2017-10-27    Ying C    Food    Suzhou    1851  

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The Chinese Hairy Crab, also known as the  mitten crab, is a medium-sized crab that is named for its furry claws, which resemble  mittens. They are generally found by rivers and coastal habitats of eastern  China. You may wonder why the locals go crazy about the meatless crustacean  with a high price, yet it is the crab roe that is much sought after. People who  ever tasted the female crab roe would say it’s a taste of divine.

Famous brands of hairy crabs come from Yangcheng  Lake, Tai Lake and Gucheng Lake in the region of eastern China. Most of the  Yangcheng crabs are exported to Shanghai and Hong Kong, and high-profit foreign  markets.

There are many ways to cook a hairy crab: steamed,  boiled or preserved in wine and most of the hairy crabs served on the table are  steamed. The key is to keep it simple to relish its original flavor and taste  in their pure form. You may need some tools to help you savor the crab: the  plier, the scissors and mini fork. The plier is for cracking open crab claws,  the scissors are for cutting crab feet, and the mini fork is for picking out  the crab meat. Steaming hot, you ripped off the crab shells first. After some  hard work of dismantling you get to the meat and eventually to its most precious  “gold” — the sticky and rich bright orange roe. A dash of vinegar will give the  taste buds a thrill too. However, these tools are for the newbies. You will be  surprised to see some people devour the whole thing just use their hands and  teeth.

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Eating  hairy crabs is quite a task for the mess you will make on the table. But all  the effort and patience is worth it when you finish this memorable meal.

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