Chilli crab is the poster crustacean in Singapore. It’s readily available in every high-end restaurant or lowbrow hawker centre at every time of the day, drunk or sober, you name it. Over the last two years I’ve met the relatives of the chilli crab — black pepper, salted egg and butter (my favourite) crab. I thought I met everyone until just a few days ago.
Introducing the hairy crab — the crustacean visiting from overseas. I’ve never heard of or tasted this autumn delicacy before until I attended a food tasting at The Sheraton Towers for Lifestyle Asia. Apparently the hairy crab is a seasonal dish anticipated every October- November. Now I feel robbed of the last 2 years of living in Singapore without trying it.
Unlike Chilli crab, which I love partly because I get to dip my mantau bread in the chilli sauce, the hairy crab doesn’t need any condiments. You just suck up the rich and creamy crab roe found within the shell. Your heart will stop, partly because of the cholesterol, but mostly because it’s that good. It also has a cooling or yin effect on the body so they usually serve ginger tea to warm you back up afterwards.
The hairy crab definitely deserves a seat at my dining table. Try it out while you still can.