Friday, December 04, 2009

Budget-Friendly Hairy Crabs

The last quarter of the year also marks the hairy crab season and fans of the delicacy get busy making bookings at various restaurants.

Yes, until now hairy crabs have only been available at restaurants, and at a fairly high price. But now Food Junction has made them more accessible to the masses. While these hairy crabs are not the individual barcode-tagged high-end ones found in restaurants, they come at a much more friendly price.

Each of these Jiangsu hairy crab ($18.80 for male, $23.80 for female) was steamed with a zi su ye (Perilla leaf) which had a leafy fragrance quite similar to lotus leaf.

I would say go for the roe-rich females. The female hairy crab contains the beautiful orangey roe that delights many a fan. There seemed to be two types of roe- the firmer almost like salted egg yolk version and the gooey version. While both are available in the female crab, I much prefer the latter with its creamy texture, rich flavour and sweetness of the sea.

To help one in extracting out the flesh, tools such these are provided. So snip, dig and pry away! Talking about the flesh, it was softer than most other crabs and subtly sweet though measely in portion. A dip into some black vinegar helped to further perk it up.

A cup of ginger tea is served with each order of hair crab. This spicy brew is sweetened and helps to cut through the richness of the roe. Think of it like a teh halia without milk.

These hairy crabs make a good snack on their own or a meal when paired with other dishes from neighbouring stalls. I would suggest fried rice, tempura udon or even naan!

Hurry as this seasonal promotion ends once stocks are out! Available only at The Food Place and Food Junction at Bugis Junction and Great World City.

Thanks to Pris, Racheal and Aaron, and Food Junction for the invitation and for hosting this cow.

The Food Place
Raffles City Shopping Centre

Chew On This:

As with all crabs that are served at good eateries, the hairy crabs are kept alive and only prepared and served upon each order.

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