Japanese Crab Species 1: Snow crab/Suwaigani/ズワイ蟹 (expanded)

Wikipedia definition:
Chionoecetes is a genus of crabs that live in the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.[1]

Other names for crabs in this genus include “queen crab” (in Canada) and “spider crab” – they are known by different names in different areas of the world. The generic name Chionoecetes means snow (χιών, chion) inhabitant (οιχητης, oiketes);[2] opilio means shepherd, and C. opilio is the primary species referred to as snow crab. Marketing strategies, however, employ snow crab for anything in the genus Chionoecetes. Snow crab refers to them being commonly found in cold northern oceans.

Snow crabs are caught as far north as the Arctic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Greenland and north of Norway in the Atlantic Ocean, and across the Pacific Ocean, including the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, Norton Sound, and even as far south as California for Chionoecetes bairdi.

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-MALE-1

(Male Snow Crab)

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.

ZUWAGANI-MALE-2
The “thorns” of a male snow crab are bigger.

ZUWAGANI-MALE-3
The “teeth” of a male snow crab are triangular in a seesaw shape.
The female “teeth” are in a straight line.

ZUWAGANI-FEMALE-2
The underbelly of a female snow crabis flatish.

ZUWAGANI-FEMALE-3

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!

ZUWAGANI-FEMALE-4

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!

ZUWAGANI-SUSHIZUWAGANI-FEMALE-SUSHI

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 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, Pie
rre.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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