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Where can I find Chinese mitten crab (Da Zha Xie, 大閘蟹)?

kosmose7 Sep 16, 2011 07:04 AM

Hi chowhounders! It is a bit too early season now, but does anybody know where I can eat Chinese mitten crab, which is also called Shanghai hairy crab (Da Zha Xie, 大閘蟹), in New York?

If they are not available in NY, any similar alternatives? :)


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  1. l
    Lau RE: kosmose7 Sep 16, 2011 08:55 AM

    i dont think you can get them in NY...dont really have a good alternative for them either, sorry

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lau
      kosmose7 RE: Lau Sep 17, 2011 05:18 PM

      I am sorry to hear that too... T^T

      BTW, thanks for the Korean BBQ recommendation in Flushing. I was at Mapo last Saturday and fully enjoyed it. As a Korean myself, I can say Mapo is an authentic Korean BBQ house! :)

      1. re: kosmose7
        Lau RE: kosmose7 Sep 17, 2011 07:56 PM

        yah i actually cant remember ever seeing them in the US. ive only actually had them a couple of times in hong kong. i think they're probably too expensive for most chinatown locals, it gets pretty expensive at the dinners ive had it at

        if ure ever in HK during hairy crab season, you should try this restaurant which is one of my favorites in HK, they've got hairy crab soup dumplings that are unbelievably good

        1. re: Lau
          kosmose7 RE: Lau Sep 17, 2011 08:04 PM

          Boy, that looks good!

          Some of my Shanghai crab postings in Hong Kong here:



          Even in Seoul, Korea, I could taste Shanghai crabs too!:


          But then, New York has lots and lots of other delicacies... so.... That is my consolation now. har.

    2. DaveCook RE: kosmose7 Sep 16, 2011 11:42 AM

      Hairy crabs were on offer at Mitsuwa, in Edgewater, New Jersey, during their annual Hokkaido Food Fair several years ago:


      Those were uncooked, of course. I don't recall what the story was with this one:


      I haven't attended the Hokkaido event since, but this year it begins on Thursday, September 22, and runs through Sunday.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DaveCook
        Lau RE: DaveCook Sep 16, 2011 01:34 PM

        whoa they had them? very interesting

        1. re: Lau
          AdamD RE: Lau Sep 16, 2011 01:59 PM

          That hokkaido food fair is fun-all kinds of good stuff-uni, ikura etc....
          but very crowded

        2. re: DaveCook
          kosmose7 RE: DaveCook Sep 17, 2011 05:14 PM

          Oh, my!! Thanks for your valuable info, DaveCook!!!!! :)

          Actually I was asking about Chinese mitten crab (Da Zha Xie, 大閘蟹), which is different from Japanese/ Korean hairy crab called 毛蟹 (pronouncd 'kegani' in Japanese and 'tolge' in Korean). However, I was equally dying for 'kegani'/ 'tolge' too! So thanks so much! I'm going there next week! :)

          1. re: DaveCook
            kosmose7 RE: DaveCook Sep 22, 2011 04:26 PM

            DaveCook, I was at Mitsuwa today and bought four large frozen hairy crabs, thanks to you! Thanks so much!!!!

          2. w
            wadawada RE: kosmose7 Sep 30, 2011 09:20 PM

            I saw them while buying blue crabs at the new Chinese grocery store on Mott, between Grand and Hester in Chinatown. I've bought their live lobsters and crabs, both were good and cheap. I've never tried the Shanghai hairy crab but I saw them in the bins.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wadawada
              kosmose7 RE: wadawada Sep 30, 2011 11:13 PM

              Wow.. did you really? You mean last year right? Because it is still way too early for Shanghai hairy crab season.

              1. re: kosmose7
                wadawada RE: kosmose7 Oct 29, 2011 10:15 AM

                I was at that market last Monday (this year :)) and they had those crabs bound with strings in the crates by the live lobsters and blue crabs. Can't vouch for authencity but they were there

            2. DaveCook RE: kosmose7 Oct 27, 2011 10:32 AM

              "Something's Fishy about Chinese Hairy Crabs," via NPR:


              1 Reply
              1. re: DaveCook
                Lau RE: DaveCook Oct 27, 2011 10:59 AM

                i think something like 80-90% are supposed to be fake, but honestly ive had ones that im pretty sure they were fake and ones that im pretty sure weren't fake (very high end restaurants in HK known for their excellent seafood) and i really couldn't tell the difference

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