There's one day out of my 14-day trip to China was spent on the famous Hairy crab a.k.a. Dazha Xie 大闸蟹. We went all the way to Bacheng's Yangcheng Lake 阳澄湖 for it's well known reputation of the hairy crabs. I heard that Yangcheng Lake offer the best hairy crabs and well, it believe it's true coz....
...When we reached Yangcheng Lake, there's one fine row (a very long stretch one!) of shops that offers the same stuff - namely the Hairy Crabs!
We first went to select our crabs in the lake itself! Those crabs that has been harvested are being kept in the cages and rest assured, these hairy creature are very fresh... ^^
The boss of this shop went down to the cage and caught a couple of crabs for us..
See the crabs?
Me with the crabs, waiting to be eaten by us! LOL
After the crabs have been selected, they're being brought to this place... The restaurant! The place is filled with a series of restaurants on the water and it feels so good to just stood at the place and imagine the many many hundreds of thousands of hairy crabs being served there! hahaha...
All the crabs need tying up before steaming them. This lady tied each and every crab skillfully and her tying are very fast too! Can't imagine me tying the crabs, I'm sure it'll be a havoc.
After some photo taking at the restaurant, we went back to the dining room and these are the dishes KC's uncle ordered besides savouring the hairy crabs which was served at the end of the session.
Now, comes the main purpose we were at Yangcheng Lake.
Ta-da! 14 hairy crabs for 7 of us.
These crabs are normally eaten together with a dipping sauce that consists on vinegar, sugar and ginger. They say it's to bring out the flavour of the crab but Kyrina and I both made it a pass on the sauce coz both of us do not like vinegar taste.
I had some huangjiu (yellow wine?) though. One person cannot eat too much of these crabs at one go because the crabs are said to have a very cooling effect to the human body. So, the wine comes in just perfectly to have the cooling effect balanced.
Oh, this is how you differentiate the male and female of the hairy crabs. Top one is male, and the bottom one if female. The male's belly is pointed whereas the female one is round. The roe is considered as the best part to eat out of the crabs. I particularly like the female one more coz of the roe! They're a bit harder compared to the softer roe from the male crab. XD
Even after a week I've had this, I am still craving for these crabs. I don't know when will be the next time I would have the chance to have these hairy crabs again, but frankly, it'll be an experience that everyone should enjoy at least once!
Here's one more pic of my with the crab! hahaha...
til then, ttfn!