Diners can savour the hairy crabs in a special promotion at the Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, from 28 October to 17 November.
Steamed Whole Hairy Crab Traditional Style 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 diners can easily extract the meat from every part of it.
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.
Chinese Executive Chef Tan Kim Weng has also prepared other dishes using the meat and roe of the crabs in a sauce, and in soup.
You can begin with the Braised Hairy Crabmeat Soup with Spinach and Shrimp Wonton, then indulge in Braised Freshwater King Prawn with Flour Sheets in Crabmeat and Crab Roe Sauce.
Braised Abalone and Sea Cucumber with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe Sauce, and Braised Oyster Mushroom and Asparagus with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe Sauce are the other dishes on the menu.
It is autumn, and the season for hairy crabs. 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.
The hairy crabs are highly appreciated for their orangey curd-like roe from the female crabs, and the more liquid roe from the male ones.