Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hairy Crab Happy Hour – less mess more flavour

It was October when we were in Shanghai and it was (still currently) that time of the year again when 大闸蟹/Da Zha Xie (hairy crabs) plump up and are perfect for savouring their roe and oil. They were everywhere. We stayed along Wulumuqi (middle) street and the streets were lined with stores selling these compact roe bundles in abundance.

Hairy crabs are a food that I associate to Shanghainese food but on our hunt for Tu An Xie Wei Guan - that a local recommended to us, I soon realised that feasting on this delectable delicacy that not everyone in Shanghai gets to enjoy. Two locals, the lady whom recommended us to the restaurant and another whom we asked for directions had never even tasted it because it too expensive. So, I’m very grateful that I have had the privilege.

This year in my hairy crab adventure I’ve found different and easier ways of savouring the hairy crab. Nothing beats using your ten fingers to rip apart the crab, then dipping the roe in vinegar and eating off the shell and licking your fingers and finally proceeding to pick of the remaining flesh but this processing is sometimes a very messy and tedious affair.

These are my newly discovered ways of eating hairy crab (hassle free) in no particular order of preference:

1. Braised Shanghainese noodles with hairy crab cream, Liu Yuan Pavilion, Hong Kong

2. Hairy crab xiao long bao, Ding Tai Fung, Shanghai

3. Hairy crab and roe with mung bean sheets, Jesse, Shanghai

4. Hairy crab roe with tofu, Liu Yuan Pavilion, Hong Kong & Tu An Xie Hui Guan, Shanghai

Hairy crab roe with tofu, Tu An Xie Hui Guan, Shanghai

Hairy crab roe with tofu,Liu Yuan Pavilion, HK

Liu Yuan Pavilion
3/F The Broadway
54-62 Lockhart Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-28042000

Ding Tai Fung
Second floor, South Block,
Xintiandi, Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-021-6385837

41 Tianping Road
Xuhui, Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-021-62829260

Tu An Xie Hui Guan
1 Gao'an Road
Xuhui, Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-021-64451206

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