Hairy Crab is one of the seasonal delicacy that craved by many throughout the year. The essence of Hairy Crab is the roe and the protein inside the crab.  This seasonal delicacy is yet to be made available throughout the year by technology, it continues to rely strictly on the Lunar Calendar in gauging its harvest.

Seasonal Preference

The general hairy crab season starts in the 9th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is usually around mid October. As mentioned in “<a target="_blank" a="" Calling for the Hairy Crab Feast”, timing is the key to enjoying delicious hairy crab. Female crabs are at its best in the 9th month, filled with roe and protein; and male crabs become the preference by the 10th month for the roe and meat.


Choosing the right Crab:

If you are going to pick out your crabs at the wet market, be sure to ask for the perilla leaves. The perilla leaves often comes along with the crab purchase. To pick out the most delicious ones out of the many similar looking crabs, consider the following tips:

Tip #1: Fresh or ‘once fresh’?

    Coloration:  Ranges from olive to dark brown.
–    Texture: the outer shell should be slightly moist and sheen, but not soft or gluey.
–    Freshness: Gentle tap on the shell, if the eyes response and moves, that’s fresh.

Tip #2: Male or Female?

–    Turn the crab upside down, and check the abdomen.
–    In the center of the carapace, female crab has a rounded pattern and male crab has a pointy pattern.

Ingredients (3 person serving)
–    Hairy Crab – 3 pieces
–    Perilla leaves – 2-3 pieces

Dipping Sauce:
–    Finely minced Gingers
–    Chinese Black Vinegar


1.    Wash the crabs thoroughly, watch out for debris stuck between the hair.
2.    Place them in the steamer belly up, with the perilla leave underneath it.
3.    Steam for 25 minutes.
4.    Remove from heat and ENJOY!

Check out “<a target="_blank" a="" Calling for the Hairy Crab Feast” for ideas on pairing hairy crab with traditional wine and other new ideas!