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Oct 10, 2007 07:50 PM

Mystery Street Food in Hong Kong?

On a recent visit to Hong Kong, I saw street vendors hawking crab wrapped in twine.

From afar they looked like greenish gray bales wrapped with some sort of yellowish twine.

What is this street food called and are the crab ready to eat?

If this is a bad description, perhaps a picture of the crab will help:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What you saw were the famous Shanghainese Hairy Crabs ( Dai Jab in Cantonese pronounciation ). They were still alive and not cooked yet. ( shell turned bright orange when cooked ). They are available for a short period during the fall season. The ones from 'Dun Ting Lake' are the best quality. The genuine ones from this lake even have numbered tags on them where their place of origin can be traced by computers once they are exported!! They are famous for their abundance of tomalles and roe. Very high in cholestoral but very yummy! Sometimes used to enhance exotic dishes like shark's fin. The meat are used in fillings of dumplings etc.You should have tried one in a good Shanghainese restaurant!! Very delicious! Oh well!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Will these still be available in November?
      I will be in Zhenjiang and Shanghai around the second week of November.

      1. re:

        They should be. This year supposedly the harvest is plentiful. Next year it's a different story as government will impose a strong limit on the harvest.

        1. re:

          In November, especially early November, the dazha crabs will still be at their peak. Some of the Hotels will be featuring multi-course crab feasts, which are good because for most of the dishes they will have done the tedious work of getting the morsels out of the shell, which is a pain in the butt to do because they are by nature small crabs. Wang Bao He, at the Central Hotel is probably the most famous place for crab, but there will others, and they usually advertise in the English media (Shanghai Daily and Shanghai Star).

      2. Shanghai hairy crab. The crabs are live. You need to go to a Shanghainese restaurant. There is a whole ritual involved in eating these crabs.

        1. So that's what they were! Sounds delicious. Thank you for your answers. I will definitely give them a try.