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    Your guide to hairy crab in Hong Kong: why to eat it, where to eat and how to cook your own
    Famed for their golden roe, hairy crabs are back on the menu this autumn. Here’s everything you need to know about this seasonal delicacy
    Hairy crab on plate
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    Hairy crab season is here – and for a very short season lasting just a month or two, this rich delicacy takes over Hong Kong’s dining scene with specialty tasting menus, crab-inspired tweaks to signature dishes and more, all putting this prized ingredient front and centre. 

    But why exactly are hairy crabs so popular at this time of year? It’s nothing to do with the name, which comes from the crustacean’s furry claws: it’s all about the flavour. “The hairy crab's flesh is renowned for its sweetness in taste. The most valuable part of the crab is its golden roe, which is creamy and buttery,” explains Executive Chef Li Yuet Faat of one-Michelin-starred Ming Court. 

    “Female crabs are usually pricier than male crabs because they contain much more roe and taste sweeter, while male crabs have better crab flesh,” he explains, adding Hong Kong diners are particularly drawn to it due thanks to the seasonality and limited availability. 

    Here’s a list of where to eat hairy crab in Hong Kong – and some where you can earn bonus miles when you eat, too. And if you’d prefer to throw a hairy crab feast at home, we’ve got all advice from Chef Li on how cook them. 


    Where to eat hairy crab in Hong Kong 

    Sstir-fried lobster, hairy crab roe and egg white dish topped with crispy rice crackers

    Ming Court

    A six-course hairy crab degustation menu by Chef Li is on the cards at the one-Michelin-starred Ming Court. With several courses celebrating the delicacy, Chef Li explains he wanted to showcase the diversity of the ingredient, with artisan dishes focusing on different forms of preparation – as well as a simple steamed version, to highlight the purity and richness of the hairy crab. 

    Dishes include a Shanghainese dumpling filled with crab roe and meat, as well as Chef Li’s favourite: a stir-fried lobster, hairy crab roe and egg white dish topped with crispy rice crackers, resulting in a world of textures and flavours.

    Cathay exclusive offer: Mention your Cathay membership number when you book a table for the Ming Court hairy crab tasting menu and wine pairing between 1-31 October to pay HK$988 net per person, originally priced at HK$1,488 plus service charge. And when you pay with Miles Plus Cash on the Asia Miles by Cathay app, you’ll earn triple the miles – while Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard® holders will be able to earn up to 5 per HK$4 spent. 

    Ming Court, Level 6, Cordis Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong, 3552 3300

    Clay pot fish maw rice
    Xiaolongbao dumplings

    The Legacy House

    The Rosewood Hong Kong’s Legacy House restaurant is going local this October, with Cantonese recipes elevating its haul of hairy crabs sourced from Jiangsu province’s Taihu lake. Traditional dishes are infused with the delicacy in a six-course tasting menu for HK$2,680, with delights including piping-hot xiaolongbao dumplings and clay pot fish maw rice. Let the restaurant know two days in advance to order its hairy crab paste-tossed braised green bean noodles as well – and order a glass of 15-year aged Guyuelongshan rice wine to pair with your meal, specially chosen by the culinary team. 

    The Legacy House, Level 5, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 3891 8732

    Tofu with hairy crab
    Japanese Inaniwa Udon topped with roe

    Regal Court

    It’s a golden affair at Regal Court this season, where steamed hairy crabs sourced from the legendary Yangcheng lake take centre stage in a Chinese and Japanese tasting menu. Seafood is celebrated in all its forms and heightened by rich hairy crab roe, with sauteed shrimps tossed in the ingredient opening the meal and later a silky Japanese Inaniwa Udon topped with roe. Running between 18 October to 17 November, the eight-course tasting menu costs HK$688 per person with a minimum booking of two people.

    Cathay tip: Pay with Miles Plus Cash or your Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard to earn bonus miles. 

    Regal Court, 2/F, 71 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui, 2313 6881

    Braised pork meatballs with crab roe
    Steamed hairy crab in sauce

    Moments Together

    At contemporary Chinese restaurant Moments Together , Shanghainese and Hunan recipes will be transformed by hairy crab additions this season. With special limited dishes launching from mid-October until stock runs out, staple dishes will be infused with hairy crab paste, roe and meat - ensuring every part of the crab is used. Expect braised pork meatballs with crab roe and a simple, yet delicious platter of steamed hairy crabs, which allow the ingredient’s natural flavours to shine. Head over sooner rather than later to avoid missing out.

    Cathay tip: Pay with Miles Plus Cash or your Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard to earn bonus miles. 

    Moments Together, Shop 1008, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road, Tsimshatsui, 2337 2883

    A plate of hairy crabs

    Credit: EyeEm

    How to cook hairy crab

    Part of the secret to cooking hairy crabs is letting the ingredient speak for itself, rather than overcomplicating your recipe and overshadowing its rich taste. Traditionally, Chef Li explains, hairy crabs are steamed over a bed of ginger slices and a splash of Chinese yellow wine – although he steams his hairy crabs over perilla leaves, which help subdue any briny smells. 

    From there, Chef Li says that the best way to enjoy them at home is by simply eating the steamed crab with black vinegar and ginger – starting with its moreish crab roe, which is best eaten piping hot. Pair your crab with yellow wines and finish up with ginger tea for an elevated dining experience.


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