October 11, 2009

Opening the hairy crab season

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It's hairy crab (大閘蟹) season again, and while I was finishing stuffing my face this afternoon at T'ang Court, I received an invitation to join some friends to feast on the delicacy at dinner.  We would meet at Farm House (農圃), which is actually a Cantonese restaurant.  But these days just about any Chinese restaurant worth anything would jump at the chance to serve hairy crab...

We started with some steamed pork dumpling with crab roe (蟹粉小籠包).  These were pretty large, and came in little cups made of tin foil sitting inside bamboo baskets.  Unfortunately the consistency and texture of the skin wasn't good, and putting these in tin foil cups was definitely a mistake, as they either stuck to the cups or the skin broke easily on contact.

We went straight to the hairy crabs.  I had two of these, which took me a long time to eat.  I don't eat a lot of hairy crabs so I'm slow in terms of getting to the meat, but I still find it enjoyable.  The crabs today had a lot of roe so I know that the captain were taking care of us.  Very, very yummy and a good way for me to start the season.

To finish off, we each had a bowl of abalone udon. The whole abalone had lots of flavors of the sea, and the soup was pretty nice with some choy sum (菜心) in the bowl.  But the chef obviously doesn't realize that Japanese udon are supposed to be chewy, not mushy and flabby.  Oh well.

Too full to have dessert, and a little bit happy from drinking some huadiao (花雕).  I head home satisfied, and thinking about taking a trip to Shanghai for some more crab.

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