Autumn is the season for hairy crabs, and Shang Palace at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur has a special promotion featuring these crabs from 6 to 26 October.
Shang Palace Chinese Executive Chef Tan Kim Weng has prepared dishes using the roe and meat of the crabs.
Traditional Steamed whole hairy crab is the best way to eat the crab, delighting in the rich, eggy roe and sweet flesh. It is served with a dip of black vinegar and shredded ginger. The crab is skilfully cut up at tableside to ensure the diner can easily extract the meat from every part of it.
You can enjoy the crab in another style too — Steamed hairy crab with egg white and hua tiao wine or Steamed hairy crab with glutinous rice and garlic sauce, and Braised crystal noodles with hairy crab roe sauce.
Savour Braised bird’s nest with hairy crab roe and crabmeat sauce, Braised lion head fish ball with crab roe sauce, Braised home-made spinach beancurd with crab roe sauce and Braised organic vegetables with crab roe sauce.
A hot, sweet ginger tea is served at the end of the hairy crab meal to restore the yang balance to the body, as the crab is considered a yin or cooling food.
Hairy crabs are highly appreciated for their orangey curd-like roe from the female crabs, and the more liquid roe from the male ones.
These Chinese mitten crabs, as they are also called, are a prized and popular delicacy in Hong Kong and Shanghai at this time, harvested from the famous Yangcheng Lake near Shanghai, and Lake Tai in the same Jiangsu Province.