Japanese Crab Species 1: Snow Crab/Zuwagani

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!

Related Posts

Crab Species 1: Snow Crab/Zuwagani

ZUWAGANI-MALE-1
(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.

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-SUSHI

Male Snow crab leg Sushi Nigiri.

ZUWAGANI-FEMALE-SUSHI

Female snow crab Sushi Nigiri and its egg sacs!

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8 Comments

  1. tokyoterrace

    I also love snow crab sushi! It is one of my favorites and I was very surprised to find it was so popular when we moved to Japan. Just before we left for the States last week, we bought some crab legs and enjoyed them thoroughly. Yum!

    Reply
    • dragonlife

      Dear Rachael!
      Greetings!
      Crabs must be the most universally loved food!LOL
      Cheers,
      Robert-Gilles

      Reply
  2. Jaded Fork

    i love crabs but usually like the female more because of all the fat and the roe. Are there any differences between the three names you mentioned?

    Reply
    • dragonlife

      There are no differences, only regional names!

      Reply
  3. Bread + Butter

    I would love some of that crab right about now!! Mmmm…

    Reply
  4. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie

    A snow crab sushi sounds excellent! Would love to try if I ever see those on a menu somewhere.

    Reply
    • dragonlife

      Dear Natasha!
      Might be the end of the season overthere but look foward to it!
      Cheers,
      Robert-Gilles

      Reply

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