The arrival of cooler, drier weather heralds the arrival of Hairy Crab Season, and the hairy crabs from the Yangtze River Delta are considered the world’s best. Where to sample them in Hong Kong.
October and November are known as Hairy Crab Season in China. This is when the hairy crabs in the fresh water lakes of the Yangtze River Delta are at their best.
Some Chinese chefs swear by the hairy crabs from Lake Tai. Other Chinese chefs favour the hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake.
But whichever lake they prefer, Chinese chefs all agree on one thing. Hairy crabs are at their tastiest in October and November.
Many hairy crab fans actually travel to the lakes in the Yangtze River Delta this time of year to enjoy this yearly delicacy.
I stayed at the Fairmont Yangcheng Lake for a couple of nights several years ago, and I was told that the hotel was always fully booked during Hairy Crab Season.
Chefs at Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong also order large supplies of hairy crabs and feature them on their menus.
While chefs are always trying to come up with new and creative ways to prepare hairy crabs, purists maintain that steaming hairy crabs is best.