Shanghai Hairy Crab – 大闸蟹

Almost every Singaporean knows when the durian season is. Now, how about Shanghai hairy crab season? Well it is somewhere between the 9th and the 10th lunar month. (Autumn season)

And what’s the best way to enjoy fresh hairy crab? Definitely by steaming!

The best part of hairy crab is not the flesh but the rich creamy roe, which tastes almost like a seawater flavored ice-cream.

And… locals know their stuff best. Shanghainese people usually eat it with a splash of black vinegar and ginger. Why black vinegar? The richness and tangy-ness of the vinegar accentuates the sweetness of the crab roe. And ginger brings a Yin-Yang balance to the cooling hairy crab. (For the “alcoholics”, try pairing your hairy crab with some shaoxing Huang Jiu/ yellow wine!)

Pure bliss my friends!

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  • Servings: 4

  • Time: 15

  • Skill: Easy


  1. 4 Hairy crabs

  2. 2 tbsp grated ginger

  3. 4 tbsp black rice vinegar

  4. 1 tbsp brown sugar


  1. For the dipping sauce, combine 2 tbsp grated ginger, 4 tbsp black rice vinegar and 1 tbsp brown sugar

  2. Lay crab shell side down in bamboo steamer

  3. Steam for 13 - 15 mins

  4. Before serving, cut in half and remove gills