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

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? :)

Thanks!

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      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

        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
        http://www.lauhound.com/2010/10/fu-si...

        1. re: Lau

          Boy, that looks good!

          Some of my Shanghai crab postings in Hong Kong here:

          http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/900762...

          http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/900522...

          Even in Seoul, Korea, I could taste Shanghai crabs too!:
          http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/901006...

          http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/900723...

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

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

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/eatingin...

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

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/eatingin...

      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

        whoa they had them? very interesting

        1. re: Lau

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

        2. re: DaveCook

          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

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

          2. 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

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

              1. re: kosmose7

                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

              1. re: DaveCook

                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

              2. hi , this is kevin from toronto, did you find the Chinese mitten crab (Da Zha Xie, 大閘蟹)in us??I'm very interested in it. Can you give me a email? my email adress: 693553@qq.com thanks

                1. Never saw any Da Zha Xie here in New York city. Only saw once while I tagging along some Chinese friends doing grocery shopping in Brooklyn two years ago.

                  If you ever go to Shanghai again, check out here https://foursquare.com/v/%E8%80%81%E5...

                  One of the HK foodbloger I followed recommends. Her Instagram pictures makes me hungry!
                  http://instagram.com/p/uj6BViA9wj/

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: nomadmanhattan

                    Ah... Shanghai style drunken crab marinated in rice wine (醉蟹)! That's my favorite, although it's not necessarily hairy crab (大閘蟹). In most cases they were blue crabs (first photo).

                    Since I have moved to Hong Kong now, I am devouring hairy crab (大閘蟹) every day. lol Steamed hairy crabs, hairy crab shark's fin soup, sticky rice with hairy crab cream, baked oysters with hairy crab roe, capellini with hairy crab cream, drunken hairy crab, wok-fried hairy crab roe & meat, souffle with hairy crab cream inside, soup dumpling with hairy crab cream, 'la mian' noodles with hairy crab cream, etc...

                    By the way, Chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto, New York has tried hairy crabs in Hong Kong and he thinks it doesn't taste any different from other kinds of crabs. I thought so too, when I was living in Hong Kong 10 years ago. I guess it requires some acquired taste to tell the difference in flavors. Now I can tell for sure hairy crabs do taste different from other crabs!
                    http://www.wsj.com/video/a-date-with-...

                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                    1. re: kosmose7

                      Ah, you lucky bastard :) I can only go back HK once every year, usually summer which is not crab season :/ To eat Da Zha Xie properly seasoning has to keep as simple as possible. I love just steam it, dipping it in chopped garlic and aged Chinese vinegar.

                      My fav US alternative to Da Zha Xie is the Alaskan King Crab. Not really the same when it comes down to sweetness; but it makes up for it with textures. I had really good one in Seattle two years back; pretty expensive tho. Not much a fan of Dungeness crab - kind of bland.

                      1. re: nomadmanhattan

                        >dipping it in chopped garlic and aged Chinese vinegar.

                        You mean chopped ginger.
                        And I agree. I like steamed hairy crabs the most. I just wanna try other versions from time to time for a change.

                        Although I love uni, I much prefer hairy crab roe with Chinese Zhejiang black vinegar (浙醋) and chopped ginger to uni. The texture is like poached egg yolk + uni... It's China's gift to the rest of the world. Heavenly...! :)

                         
                        1. re: kosmose7

                          i maybe coming to HK in dec...if i do im going to hit u up on recs for hairy crab, i havent had it in years

                          1. re: Lau

                            Good for you Lau! They say this year's hairy crabs are bigger and of better quality than last year's, and I can see they have a lot more roe this year!

                  2. Hey so where can I find Big gate crab (Chinese mitten crab ) in NYC??? PLSSS HELP I study here but I miss hk restaurant so much!!! Go to Liu yuan pavilion so good