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Tiny fried crabs as a garnish?

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All: a long time ago at a reasonably good sushi restaurant I was served a bowl of tiny whole deep friend crabs... they must have been maybe an inch in diameter, if that.

I'd be interested in using something similar as a garnish in a dinner I'm working on. Does anyone have any suggestions for the type of crab I might have had, or where I could find it in San Francisco?

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    1. re: wolfe

      Yes! Only even smaller and tighter... but this gives me a clue. Thanks!

    2. Would they happen to have been sawagani (Japanese river crabs)? I know the Sushi Samba franchise served these as appetizers at some point - others may have as well. Don't know anything about where to track these down in SF, though.

      1. It's not SF, but there's Mitsuwa Market in San Jose:

        http://www.mitsuwa.com/tenpo/sanj/ein...

        (Should add that I don't know if they have those tiny crabs, but they have a very active seafood section.

        )

        -----
        Mitsuwa
        675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

        1. I know that Sushi ran in Sausalito has them as a special from time to time. Seasonal perhaps?

          1. Not that this will help you in your quest, but I had those a couple months ago at Aburiya Raku in Las Vegas. They were stunningly good, which says a lot coming from a guy who admits he has a rather "jaded" palate.

            I hope you find them locally..... =-)

            1. I've also seen these called "dancing crab".

              1. Or maybe like these?
                http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0...

                If these are it, sometimes you can find it at big Chinese supermarkets near the dry squid/fish snacks. In SF chinatown, Sweetheart Cafe on Grant St. has them in small tubs by the cash register.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gnomatic

                  Unfortunately, the "snack pak" sawagani I've seen thus far is sweetened. I, too, would love a good source for them. I first had them at R23--the sushi restaurant in L.A.--and have bee on the hunt for them ever since.