Sunday, 18 October 2009

Crabs crabs crabs (not that kind)

If you refer to my first ever blogpost, you'll see that my point in starting this blog was so that I could write about fashion and food, I've been trying (note: trying) on the fashion part, but if you've been following this blog, you'll see that I have failed miserably in the food department, I don't think I've ever even mentioned the word, which is just tragic, I blame this on the atrocious lighting in most restaurants which in turn makes my pictures look crap and the food unappealing...nah, not really, I'm just a shit photographer, or perhaps I need a better camera (there goes another thing on the 'to buy' list). Anyway...

Today, I present you my first ever food post which coincidently happens to be one of my favourite food in the world: the Big gate crab ( I have no idea what the real English name actually is, this is just a literal translation). First, I feel the need to give you a little background information on this species. This crab is a burrowing crab that comes mainly from lakes, the best coming from Yang Ching Hu (please forgive my pathetic attempt at Mandarin phonics) and is a famous delicacy in Shanghai cuisine. The most distinguishing feature of these crabs is perhaps their hairy claws. The only season that they are really available for consumption is Autumn (most likely the time they reach maturity), with females starting from September to October and males from October to November. The part that is considered the best is the roe and sperm (I'm not positive that its actually sperm but that's what I'm lead to believe) of the crab. I'm definately the sperm fan (this sounds quite wierd and Freudian). It's really quite difficult to explain, so here goes the pictures.

See the hairy claws?

Awaiting destiny...

Shower time

Place them in steam pan unside down (this is so all the delicious stuff doesn't leak out)

A slice of ginger on top

And a leaf, I have no idea what these are called in English.

Steam! You can make the sauce now, which is simply Chinese black vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar and shredded ginger.


Flip the crab over (that flap in the middle is how you tell male from female)

Pull the flap off

Turn it back over and pull the top off

Scoop out the sperm and devour with a little sauce

Break crab in half and eat the rest of the stuff in the middle, then eat the rest of the crab meat like any other crab

When you're done, put it back together just to show your respect.

I managed to eat 7 of these which is actually a very tiring thing, and not to mention how high my cholestral levels must be now, I guess it's only once a year so I'm allowed.

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