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Special: Hairy Crabs
Special: Hairy Crabs

Review: Nothing but the whole crab 

It's that season again, and for the uninitiated, having a mealout now can be quite a hairy adventure, as CJ Henderson finds out when she dons some gloves and dives into her first hairy crab taste experience.

The executive chef of the Ritz-Carlton's Chinese restaurant, Yu, has designed a special six-course set menu around the hairy crab, taking advantage of the crustacean's brief two-month season. We went for lunch on a cold and cloudy day, and the warm green, white and wooden interior was very welcoming.

"These are special crabs. They are smaller than the Australian and Alaskan King crabs, but they are a delicacy we enjoy in this small window of time. They are a very aromatic crab; their flavor is not like any other."

C.J. Henderson finds out more.

Crab Culture: Fine wine, friends and a crabby crustacean 

Special: Hairy Crabs

In China, seasonal foods are big business, but none bigger than the current hairy crab season. Millions will be spent before the obsession fades with the first snows of winter and the crustaceans are allowed to hibernate, mate and grow fat again for another year.

The annual frenzy starts as September arrives, together with the cooling days and the scent of blooming chrysanthemums. It continues through October and tapers off as year-end approaches.

In the meantime, restaurants and seafood shops announce the arrival of the crabs with red banners across storefronts, and on television, cooking shows will offer endless tips on how best to cook the crabs.

Fan Zhen talks more about the culture of these autumn delicacies.

Crab Treats: 

Dumplings and crab

His maestro's crabs 

Secret recipes 

Crabs deconstructed 

Special: Hairy Crabs

Special: Hairy Crabs

Special: Hairy Crabs

Special: Hairy Crabs

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Europe's unwanted guest savored in China 

Page Editors:Cindy Gu and Fan Zhen