Tag Archives: Crab

Sushi: Hanasaki Crab Chirashi Zushi for the New Year!

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Chirashi zushi/散らし寿司 means “decoration sushi” in Japanese!
It is a free form of sushi very popular at homes!

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We received this magnificent crab directly from Hokkaido!

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Its name, Hanasakgani/花咲蟹 means “Flower Blooming Crab”!
This is probably due tp its many spikes!

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We received pre-boiled although the original color is almost the same!
The Dragon had a hard time to prepare it as the shell is hard. I did propose to help her but she refused!

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This crab can be found only in the North Pacicific around Hokkaido, The Behring Sea and the Sakhalin.
It does not have a specila English name and goes by the Latin name of Paralithodes brevipes.

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It is considered as one of the top three crabs (at least in Hokkaido) with the Kegani/Horsehair Crab and the Tarabagani/Red King CRab! It is expensive but we recived it as an End of the Year present!

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The meat out of its shell!

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The Dragon prepared a chirashi sushi served in the traditional round wood bowl for 4 of us, but we couldn’t finish and had more for the next breakfast!

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The Dragon first prepare the sushi rice inside the wooden bowl.

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She had mixed the rice with some golden sesame seeds before adding roughly shredded hanaski crab meat and chopped fresh mizuna herbs.

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As this is the New Year, she also added plenty of ikura/salmon re!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

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Crab Species 1: Snow Crab/Sawagani (amended & expanded)

Snow Crabs, or Zuwagani in Japanese are very popular not only in Japan, but also in Russia, Canada and many other countries.

In Japan, they are also known under the following names: Matsubagani, Echizengani and Yoshigani.
The females are also called Seikogani, Megani or Koubakogani.
They are caught mainly in Autumn and Winter.
Their number have decreased in the Japan seas down to a yearly catch of 5,000 tonnes while 60,000 tonnes are imported from Russia and Canada.

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(Male Snow Crab)

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(Female snow Crab)

Male and female snow crabs are equally succulent, but the males contain more flesh and are accordingly more expensive.

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The “thorns” of a male snow crab are bigger.

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The “teeth” of a male snow crab are triangular in a seesaw shape.
The female “teeth” are in a straight line.

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The underbelly of a female snow crabis flatish.

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When buying a female (10 tmes as cheap) snow crab, choose a specimen with as few eggs as possible. Above speciman just has too many!

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A female snow crab should contain plenty of succulent orange egg sacs (the eggs not yet “born”). Otherwise, there is very little reason to buy any!

Crabs can be eaten in many ways, even raw, but my favourites are on sushi!

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Male Snow crab leg Sushi Nigiri and Female snow crab Sushi Nigiri and its egg sacs!

Suwagani/Snow Crab legs, when lightly boiled can make for beautiful sushi nigiri.

Cheaper varieties can still make fr some remarkable gunkan sushi combining the boiled white flesh and “miso”/brains!

If the Japanese can get their hands on the whole crab, will simply boil it and eat the meat directly out of the shell with a sweet vinegar dressing.
As for the “miso”/brains they will be served in the shell heated again with a big helping of Japanese sake!

Now, live snow crabs make for extravagant sashimi!

The same can savoured in shabu-shabu!

Italian restaurants in Japan regularly serve it in pasta!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Social Culinaire, Sushi Nomads, Cook, Eat & Share, Gourmet Fury, 5 Star Foodie

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Crab Species 4: Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Japanese Mitten Crab or Mokuzugani i Japanese is also called Mokuzou, Zugani, Tsugani or Kegani.
It caught alsmost everywhere in Japan in Autumn and Winter.
In Autumn the females come to lay their eggs at river mouths.
Plenty are found along the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
They are caught in boxes baited with fish.

As for food, they can be eaten boiled in soups or crushed with their shell and cooked with miso. They could even be prepared as French bisque.

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The female specimens are particularly appreciated for their egg sacs.

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These boiled egg sacs with the meat make for delicious sushi nigiri or gunkan!

Crab Species 3: Japanese Spider Crab/Takaashigani


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Takaashigani/高足が二, literally meaning “Tall Legs Crab” is the largest crab in the and is caught almost only around Japan especially in the Suruga Bay In Shizuoka Prefecture and Izu Islands, but numbers of the crab have diminished over recent years, and there are many efforts to protect them. In Shizuoka Prefecture, people even help them grow from the eggs before returning them to the sea!

Fully grown it can reach a leg span of almost 4 m (13 ft), a body size of up to 37 cm (15 inches) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 lb). The crab’s natural habitat is on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (some 300 to 400 m deep) around Japan, where it feeds on dead animals and shellfish. It is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years.

The Japanese spider crab has 10 legs. The front two legs have been adapted into claws. It has an orange body with white spots on its thin legs. In males, the limbs on which the claws are located become longer than its other limbs, and a large male can widen them to more than 3 m. The oval-shaped and vertically rounded shell can reach 30 cm in width and can be up to 40 cm long. The compound eyes are situated on the front, and two thorns stick out between them. Younger specimens feature hair and thorns on the shell, and their frontal horns are longer, but these gradually atrophy as the crab ages.

In Japan it is considered a delicacy and prices can easily jump!
The Japanese spider crab is caught using small trawling nets, and is often eaten salted and steamed.

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Interestingly enough, when bolied/steamed, not only the shell but also the flesh turns red.

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They do make for impressive sushi!

Crab Species 2: Red King Crab/Tarabagani


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Tarabagani or Red King Crab is caught in Autumn and Winter.
It is the most coveted of the commercially sold king crab species, and is the most expensive per unit weight. It was named after the colour it turns when it is cooked rather than the colour of a living animal, which tends to be more burgundy.

Red king crabs can be very large, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 ft (1.8 m) [2]. It is most commonly caught in the Bering Sea and Norton Sound, Alaska, and is particularly difficult to catch, but is nonetheless one of the most preferred crabs for consumption.

The King Crab is native to the Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean, around the Kamchatka Peninsula and neighbouring Alaskan waters.
In Japan it is caught in the Japan Sea and neighbouring Okhotsk Sea.

In Japan 100 tonnes are caught every year, whereas 40,000 tonnes are imported, mainly from Russia!

There are so many way to enjoy this great crab!
Here are a few examples:

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Boiled as Sushi Nigiri of course!

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Even more extravagant, raw as sushi nigiri!

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Just plain boiled on a bowl of freshly steamed rice. My favourite for its extravagant simplicity!

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As Chirashizushi should please anyone!

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And how about a great soup with miso!

Naturally, there are more ways, including grilling!
I will leave it to your imagination! LOL

Crab Species 1: Snow Crab/Zuwagani


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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(Male Snow Crab)

Snow Crabs, or Zuwagani in Japanese are very popular not only in Japan, but also in Russia, Canada and many other countries.

In Japan, they are also known under the following names: Matsubagani, Echizengani and Yoshigani.
The females are also called Seikogani, Megani or Koubakogani.
They are caught mainly in Autumn and Winter.
Their number have decreased in the Japan seas down to a yearly catch of 5,000 tonnes while 60,000 tonnes are imported from Russia and Canada.

ZUWAGANI-FEMALE-1
(Female snow Crab)

Male and female snow crabs are equally succulent, but the males contain more flesh and are accordingly more expensive.

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The “thorns” of a male snow crab are bigger.

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The “teeth” of a male snow crab are triangular in a seesaw shape.
The female “teeth” are in a straight line.

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The underbelly of a female snow crabis flatish.

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When buying a female (10 tmes as cheap) snow crab, choose a specimen with as few eggs as possible. Above speciman just has too many!

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A female snow crab should contain plenty of succulent orange egg sacs (the eggs not yet “born”). Otherwise, there is very little reason to buy any!

Crabs can be eaten in many ways, even raw, but my favourites are on sushi!

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Male Snow crab leg Sushi Nigiri.

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Female snow crab Sushi Nigiri and its egg sacs!