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Hairy Crab Singapore
Photograph: Hairy Crab Singapore

Where to enjoy hairy crabs in Singapore

These coveted crustaceans are back on the menu

Fabian Loo
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Fabian Loo
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Hairy crabs might not sound entirely appetising, but these fur-lined crustaceans are well-loved by many for their extremely creamy roe. Also known as Chinese mitten crabs, they are a seasonal offering that is typically enjoyed during autumn, from October through to December. 

Each palm-sized critter packs little meat (unlike the usual variants). But the one thing that people are after is its gold-hued roe – luxuriously buttery and indulgently rich. Most covet the females, which boasts a brighter-looking roe, while others might like the paler, creamier male roe. 

While most might visit a restaurant to enjoy hair crabs in the past, these days, online sellers are also shipping these live species from China straight to the doorstep. Here’s where to go to indulge in the autumn delicacy. 

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Hairy Crab Singapore
Photograph: Hairy Crab Singapore

Hairy Crab Singapore

While the company used to transact with suppliers and restaurants, this year, the distributor has decided to offer the seasonal treat directly to consumers instead. This allows the company to keep prices lower – live crabs are fished from the waters of Lake Tai, China, and shipped to Singapore three times a week. 

Bundles come packed with crabs, tied snuggly to easy preparation. A de-shelling kit is also thrown in, together with dried perilla leaves, pre-packaged dipping sauce, and ginger tea sachets (to combat the ‘cooling’ effects of eating the crabs). Prices for two female and two male crabs start from $280, which varying permutations and weightage available. Smaller bundles, two crabs, start from $160. 

Order here hairycrab.oddle.me/en_SG/

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • City Hall

Now till Nov 30

The restaurant sources its roe-enriched critters from Taihu Lake. Have it served as is ($108), steamed simply to let the natural flavours shine, or baked in salt. Or inventive ways of enjoying the delicacy include the freshly wrapped hairy crab hand roll ($30), or having the meat and roe stuffed in a baked orange ($32). Apart from the seasonal treat, the menu also celebrates other varieties of crab – from Sri Lankan yellow crab ($98) marinated in vodka and Chinese wine to Japanese king crab legs ($34) sautéed with garden vegetables. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Orchard

Now till Nov 30

Savour steamed hairy crab at $88 each at Min Jiang. Also on the menu is the braised hairy crab meat with roe and beancurd ($88), alongside steamed hair crab with glutinous rice ($88). An indulgent six-course, crab-filled set menu ($155/$175) is also available for prior booking.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Tanglin

Now till Nov 30

Michelin-starred Shang Palace will also be serving up this prized treat. Critters from Lake Tai are flown in and transformed into a series of luxurious dishes. Steamed crabs start from $98 (female) or $128 (male); and its creamy roe is also used to adorn bird’s nest ($68), deep-fried taro pastry ($24), braised Tianjin cabbage ($48), and more. There is also a lavish six-course set menu ($228, inclusive of a bottle of 8-year Chinese yellow wine) that might come with Inaniwa noodles with hairy crab roe and oil, pan-fried lobster tail with lobster bisque, braised shredded eel broth, and more. 

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