Friday food fight: Hairy crabs

Things gets hairy this time of year.
Things gets hairy this time of year.

Let’s take the spice level way down this week and claw away at a food that fits the season: hairy crabs.

Writes Shanghai Daily:

“For almost two centuries, it has been a sacred rite and late-autumn ritual for nearly every Shanghai family to eat da zha xie, or hairy crabs when the cold, crisp autumn winds pick up. They are traditionally washed down with huang jiu, or rich yellow wine, such as Shaoxing wine.

“The best known and marketed are the Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs, the Rolls Royce and the Vidalia onion of the freshwater crab world. They mature between October and November and are harvested from the lake northeast of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. Crabs from the eastern part of the lake are said to be the best.

Hairy crabs are usually steamed with ginger and served with a dipping sauce of ginger and vinegar. I’m joining a mission tonight to pair wines with this fall delicacy – my contribution is a Viognier – and will report back in full next week. In the meantime, any other suggestions?

(Image: Shanghai Daily)

See also:
Friday food fight: Mapo Dofu
Friday food fight: Dirt
Friday food fight: Beijing duck
Friday food fight: Scorpions on a stick

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