How to steam Hairy Crabs?

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

It is the season to be smacking lips as thousands of hairy crabs aka mitten crabs are hauled up from freshwaters of YangCheng Lake China to be served in Singapore restaurants.

For the many of you who are not that keen to eat out in these Covid times, SG Hairy Crab delivers quality live hairy crabs right to your doorstep to enjoy at the comforts of your own home. Now the question is, how to prepare these delicate crabs to restaurant-level perfection?

Steaming is the best way to consume hairy crabs. Not only does it retain the fresh flavors of a live crab, but it also allows the delicate parts of both the roe and meat to reach its highest umami potential.

Shanghainese do not traditionally eat hairy crabs steamed with perilla leaves because it adds a distinct leafy flavor to the crab, changing the delicate flavors of the crab itself.

So let's get steaming with these Hairy Crabs!


  • Do not remove strings used to bind crabs

  • Scrub crabs clean with brush

  • Use steaming wok or pot

  • Place crabs *belly-up

  • Add a slice of ginger and root half of spring onion on the belly of each crab

  • Add in enough Hua Tiao Jiu into the pot to last for 15 minutes of steaming

  • Cover pot and turn on high flame/heat

  • Set timer for **15mins

  • After mins, turn down to medium flame/heat

  • Time to enjoy those steamed hairy crabs!

*Placing crabs belly up ensures that the juices do not flow out from the crab during steaming and all the wonderful flavors are retained in the head-shell.

**If you do not have a powerful cooker it is ok to steam it for another 5mins.

Elevate your enjoyment by complementing your Hairy Crabs with a Ginger Vinegar Dipping sauce.

As hairy crabs are cooling in nature, it is also important to ward off the cold after eating. Learn how to make a delicious ginger tea to get that heat back up in your blood.

#hairycrab #steamingcrabs

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