Tag Archives: ズワガニ

Oshizushi/Pressed Sushi Techniques 3: Egg Bearing Snow Crab/Seikogani


Sushi exists under many forms and guises.
It is not all nigiri and (more ubiquitous) sushi rolls!
Have you ever heard of Oshizushi?

Oshizushi (押し寿司, litterally pressed sushi), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favourite and specialty of Osaka.

Oshibako unmounted

It is made with the help of a block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako/押し箱.

Oshibako lined with toppings

The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block.

Cutting Grilled Eel Oshizushi

The block is then removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces.

It is great fun to experiment at home for large parties or the family as you can include almost anything.
Moreover, oshizuhi is easy to transport and include in bento!

The recipes and techniques I’m introducing here are professional, but with a little practice I’m sure you will become a specialist

1)Salmon Marinated in Seaweed/Sake Sushi Konbushime, 2) Seared Prime Beef/Gyuniku Aburi


Egg Bearing Snow Crab/Seikogani

Snow Crab/Zuwagani

Seikogani is the Japanese name for the female Snow Crab or Zuwagani, when she is bearing her eggs.
Contrary to many other kinds of crabs, the female snow crabs, even when bearing eggs, lose little of their food and taste quality with the added advantage of an extra delicacy and taste. On the other hand the main food is found inside the shell instead of the legs and pincers for the males.
Therefore, if you get your hands on such a specimen, do not ignore it, even if they are noticeably smaller than their male counterparts!

Boiled snow crabs.

The best is actually to combine both male and female into a combination sushi.

Above are the shells of two snow crabs, the large male one containing white flesh and red brains from both male and female, the smaller female one containing the eggs, and the flesh taken out of the male legs after boiling and cooling.

See above picture for better view of the edible morsels: white flesh, red brains (don’t forget these!) and eggs.

As there is a danger of a general crumbling out of the ingredients, line the bottom of the oshibako/box with a good layer of light seaweed first instead of doing it after you have unloose the sushi out ofits box.
Then place legs flesh tightly parallel to each other to form as compact as possible layer. Cover the leg flesh with the eggs and red brains into a pleasing design.
Finally fill with sushi rice and press.

Unloose sushi from its box and cut to size before serving!

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Crab Species 1: Snow Crab/Zuwagani

(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.

(Female snow Crab)

Male and female snow crabs are equally succulent, but the males contain more flesh and are accordingly more expensive.

The “thorns” of a male snow crab are bigger.

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

The underbelly of a female snow crabis flatish.


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!


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!


Male Snow crab leg Sushi Nigiri.


Female snow crab Sushi Nigiri and its egg sacs!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi