Tag Archives: スワガニ

Japanese Crab Species 4: Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani藻屑蟹

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Japanese Mitten Crab or Mokuzugani/藻屑蟹 in Japanese is also called Mokuzou, Zugani, Tsugani or Kegani.
It is caught alsmost everywhere in Japan in Autumn and Winter.
In Autumn the females come to lay their eggs at river mouths.
Plenty are found along the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
They are caught in boxes baited with fish.

As for food, they can be eaten boiled in soups or crushed with their shell and cooked with miso. They could even be prepared as French bisque.

MOKUZUGANI-FEMALE

The female specimens are particularly appreciated for their egg sacs.

MOKUZUGANI-SUSHI

These boiled egg sacs with the meat make for delicious sushi nigiri or gunkan!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crab Species 3: Japanese Spider Crab/Takaashigani/高足蟹

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Takaashigani/高足蟹, literally meaning “Tall Legs Crab” is the largest crab in the worldand is caught almost only around Japan especially in the Suruga Bay In Shizuoka Prefecture and Izu Islands, but numbers of the crab have diminished over recent years, and there are many efforts to protect them. In Shizuoka Prefecture, people even help them grow from the eggs before returning them to the sea!

Fully grown, it can reach a leg span of almost 4 m (13 ft), a body size of up to 37 cm (15 inches) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 lb). The crab’s natural habitat is on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (some 300 to 400 m deep) around Japan, where it feeds on dead animals and shellfish. It is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years.

The Japanese spider crab has 10 legs. The front two legs have been adapted into claws. It has an orange body with white spots on its thin legs. In males, the limbs on which the claws are located become longer than its other limbs, and a large male can widen them to more than 3 m. The oval-shaped and vertically rounded shell can reach 30 cm in width and can be up to 40 cm long. The compound eyes are situated on the front, and two thorns stick out between them. Younger specimens feature hair and thorns on the shell, and their frontal horns are longer, but these gradually atrophy as the crab ages.

In Japan it is considered a delicacy and prices can easily jump!
The Japanese spider crab is caught using small trawling nets, and is often eaten salted and steamed.

TAKAASHIGANI-BOILED

Interestingly enough, when bolied/steamed, not only the shell but also the flesh turns red.

TAKAASHIGANI-SUSHI

They do make for impressive sushi!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crab Species 2: Red King Crab/Tarabagani/鱈場蟹

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Tarabagani or Red King Crab/鱈場蟹 is caught in Autumn and Winter.
It is the most coveted of the commercially sold king crab species, and is the most expensive per unit weight. It was named after the colour it turns when it is cooked rather than the colour of a living animal, which tends to be more burgundy.

Red king crabs can be very large, sometimes reaching a carapace width of 11 in (28 cm) and a leg span of 6 ft (1.8 m) [2]. It is most commonly caught in the Bering Sea and Norton Sound, Alaska, and is particularly difficult to catch, but is nonetheless one of the most preferred crabs for consumption.

The King Crab is native to the Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean, around the Kamchatka Peninsula and neighbouring Alaskan waters.
In Japan it is caught in the Japan Sea and neighbouring Okhotsk Sea.

In Japan 100 tonnes are caught every year, whereas 40,000 tonnes are imported, mainly from Russia!

There are so many way to enjoy this great crab!
Here are a few examples:

TARAGANI-KINGCRAB-SUSHI

Boiled as Sushi Nigiri of course!

TARAGANI-KINGCRAB-SUSHI-RAW

Even more extravagant, raw as sushi nigiri!

TARAGANI-KINGCRAB-CHIRASHIZUSHI-2

Just plain boiled on a bowl of freshly steamed rice. My favourite for its extravagant simplicity!

TARAGANI-KINGCRAB-CHIRASHIZUSHI

As Chirashizushi it should please anyone!

TRABAGANI-SOUP

And how about a great soup with miso!?

Naturally, there are more ways, including grilling!
I will leave it to your imagination! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crab Species 1: Snow Crab-Suwagani-楚蟹

Snow Crabs, or Zuwagani/楚蟹 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 has 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 crab is flatish.

ZUWAGANI-FEMALE-3

When buying a female (10 times as cheap) snow crab, choose a specimen with as few eggs as possible. Above speciman just has too many!

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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 for some remarkable gunkan sushi combining the boiled white flesh and “miso”/brains!

If the Japanese can get their hands on the whole crab, they 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 be savoured in shabu-shabu!

Italian restaurants in Japan regularly serve them in pasta!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery