This is Laru chan!
Japan is known for various seafood dishes such as sushi, seafood bowls, sea urchin, salmon roe, etc. Now I will introduce you to crab dishes!
The level of crab available in Japan is very high (and therefore very expensive), and it is one of the must-try dishes if you can try it. In this article, we will introduce the types of crab available in Japan and how to eat them.
First, the crabs most often eaten in Japan are snow crab, red snow crab, king crab, and kegani. All crabs are very attractive and offer different tastes and textures.
Main types of crabs eaten in Japan
- Snow Crab （ズワイガニ zuwai gani）
It is finely classified by region of origin and quality, and its taste and price vary greatly. Matsuba crab, especially from the San’in region, is a well-known brand in Japan and offers an elegant sweet taste!
- Red Snow Crab （ベニズワイガニ beni zuwai gani）
It looks similar to snow crab but has a reddish appearance even before being boiled. It is traded at a lower price than snow crab but is also delicious! It lives about 1,000 meters deeper than snow crab, has more water, and is said to lose its freshness quickly.
- タラバガニ taraba gani
This crab lives in the Gulf of Alaska, north of Hokkaido, and is called the king of crabs in English because of its taste and size. Its meat has a plump texture and is very tasty. But in fact, they are not crabs at all. They are hermit crabs!
- Hermit Crab （ケガニ ke gani）
This crab is caught mainly in Hokkaido and is smaller than the other crabs above. They are characterized by sweetness, and rich flavor not found in other crabs and are said to be the most popular crab among locals in Hokkaido, famous for its many seafood and crab landings!
Crab dishes in Japan
If the crab is fresh, you can eat it as sashimi. Sashimi is a great way to bite into a giant crab leg and feel its firm texture, strong sweetness, and delicious flavor!
This is the most popular way to eat crab and is, therefore, very popular. You can enjoy the full flavor of the crab. You will definitely keep eating it mindlessly!
This is something between sashimi and boiled. A single gorgeous leg is quickly passed through the pot and lightly cooked before being served. The sweetness of the sashimi, combined with the texture of the boiled leg, makes for a delicious dish!
Grilling removes moisture and concentrates the flavor. It also adds a savory and sweet taste. Be careful not to grill it too long, or the flesh will dry!
- Crab Miso
This is another trendy dish in Japan (although it is true that a certain number of people in Japan do not like it). Crab miso is found in the shell of the crab and is called “crab miso” because of its resemblance to miso. It is the crab’s internal organ, the part that acts like the liver and pancreas in humans. It has a unique and rich flavor and is often boiled, grilled, and eaten as is or with crab meat. Female crabs also have ovaries called uchiko, which are also very popular. It is a dish that you should try.
Here are some recommendations for eating crab in Japan!
This is the most famous crab restaurant in Japan. The moving giant crab in front of the restaurant is a landmark. In addition to the dishes mentioned above, you can also get tempura, karaage, gratin, and more!
There are many excellent traditional Japanese inns in the San’in region that offer crab dishes and hospitality, and I would like to introduce one that I have had the pleasure of visiting.
This one is in Shibayama Port, Hyogo, and some rooms have open-air baths!
You can get there by train and car, so check them out!