12 January 2016

It's Time to Taste the Hairy Crab; Traditional and Innovational

One dainty crustacean on the Asian table, the crab, can come from both the sea and the river – the former is bony and savored with Thai curries. The hairy crab which is bred in the Jiangsu province in eastern China and is actually a kind of river crab.

October and November are the best months for hairy crab enthusiasts. Sweet meat and rich roe are the selling points of the authentic hairy crabs that can be found in Yangchenghe Lake (阳澄湖) and Taihu Lake (太湖), a mixture of salty and light water. Despite the complexities of digging out the meat from its claws and shell, the Chinese classical novel "Red Mansion" depicts an elegant process to taste crab – with a set of sophisticated tools. In addition to the traditional way of cooking the crab – steaming whole with ginger, smart Chinese chefs have also begun to cook hairy crab meat with chicken and shrimp, and even stuffed in Xiao Long Bao (小笼包), a kind of dumpling with fresh soup inside. Prices are certainly not cheap for these new and intriguing ways of cooking crab.

It's Time to Taste the Hairy Crab; Traditional and Innovational
Hairy crab with preserved plum

The Chinese restaurant China Club at Baiyun Hilton Guangzhou has combined preserved plum with steamed hairy crab, a sweet and sour taste ideal for fresh autumn days. A cup of ginger tea is served afterward to warm the stomach. Sparked by Chinese cuisine methods, heavy sauces are always matched with light indigents. So Chinese Tofu, winter melon, fungus and bean starch accompany the delicious soup.

It's Time to Taste the Hairy Crab; Traditional and Innovational
Steam Chinese Tofu and crab meat

The Summer Palace at Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou presents a full selection of à la carte and set menu dishes. During the crab harvest season, the culinary team selects quality Taihu Lake hairy crabs, that is, 225 grams or above for male crabs and 190 grams or above for female. Cooking methods for a whole hairy crab include steaming in a ginger and herb broth, in Chinese herbal stock and in Chinese glutinous rice wine. The à la carte menu features Steamed Dumpling Stuffed with Pork and Hairy Crab Meat, Wok-fried River Shrimp with Hairy Crab Meat and Stewed Bean Curd with Hairy Crab Meat in a Clay Pot. The set menu offers one piece of hairy crab, double-boiled stock with fish maw, abalone and sea cucumber, steamed fillet of giant garoupa, a dessert, a seasonal fruit platter and more.

It's Time to Taste the Hairy Crab; Traditional and Innovational
Xiao Long Bao stuffed with crab meat

Regarded a kind of food that will hurt your stomach if you indulge more than two in one day, steaming without any sauce allows gourmets taste the sweetness while frying makes it appetizing and healthy. Hairy crabs are fried with chicken and seafood like shrimp and scallop. Fungus and chicken take away the bad nutrients of hairy crabs, according to the Chinese medicine. So the Baiyuelou Chinese Restaurant of Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Center has made four dishes themed with hairy crab this November.

It's Time to Taste the Hairy Crab; Traditional and Innovational
Fried hairy crab meat, shrimp, egg white and Matsutake fungus

The dishes featuring this years harvest of hairy crab are available about one month till the end of November. Get out there and taste one!

China Club, Baiyun Hilton Guangzhou
广州白云万达希尔顿 酌宴府

Address: No. 515-517, Yuncheng Dong Lu, Baiyun district, Guangzhou 510400 (Metro line 2, Feixiang Park station)
广州市白云区云城东路515-517号 地铁二号线飞翔公园站
Tel.: +86 20 6660 0666 ext 6215
Email: Guangzhoubaiyun.reservation@hilton.com

Recommended dishes: Fried hairy crab and rice cake, Steam Chinese Tofu and crab meat, Hairy crab with preserved plum, Simmer crab meat and scallop

Summer Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou
广州香格里拉大酒店 夏宫

Address: No. 1, Huizhan Dong Lu, Haizhu district, Guangzhou (Metro line 2, Pazhou station)
Tel.: +86 20 8917 6498:
Email: fbreservation.slpg@shangri-la.com

The hairy crab dishes are available until 30 November 2012 at Summer Palace Chinese Restaurant. The price is RMB288 for one piece of crab and RMB628 for a set menu. À la carte items are priced from RMB28 only.

Baiyuelou Chinese Restaurant, Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Center
广州中心皇冠假日酒店 百粤楼

Address: No. 339, Huanshi Dong Lu, Yuexiu district, Guangzhou (Metro line 5, Pazhou station)
Tel.: 020-83638888
Email: cpcitycentre@gz63.cn

Recommended dishes: Fried hairy crab with Indonesian curries, Fried hairy crab meat, shrimp with egg white and Matsutake fungus, Stew hairy crab, chicken and fungus