Dining Out 3 minutes 09 November 2023

Autumn Crab Feasts: 5 Must-Eat Crab Dishes at MICHELIN Restaurants in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, autumn is the most anticipated season of the year, for both its cool weather and delicious seasonal crab dishes.

hairy crab Michelin Guide Seafood Hong Kong

After a long season of growth and storing up nutrients in the summer, autumn is when crabs come into season, becoming plump and delicious. As the temperature drops, the seas where they are produced become colder, reducing the activity of the crabs so that they begin to accumulate more fat, resulting in more flavourful and tender meat.

Savour crab season in Hong Kong at these five MICHELIN restaurants offering seasonal varieties, from hairy crab to flower crab, in excellent crab dishes that showcase the flavour of autumn.

1. Steamed Fresh Flowery Crab with Aged Shaoxing Wine & Fragrant Chicken Oil & Flat Rice Noodles

The Chairman
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2023

One of The Chairman’s most talked-about signatures is its steamed flower crab with chicken oil and shaoxing wine with flat rice noodles. It is the must-order dish that shouldn't be missed.

At The Chairman, the crabs are meticulously selected fresh from the day’s catch, with only those in the top 20th percentile by weight chosen. In autumn, that might mean one out of every 30 crabs; out of season, you might be hard-pressed to find one out of every 50. Clam juice is added when the crabs are steamed, enhancing the rich seafood flavours, a complicated component in itself. Fresh, large clams are mixed with 10- to 15-year-old shaoxing huadiao wine and egg yolks, and then steamed to extract their essence. Only the flavourful liquid is reserved and seasoned with more wine before it is poured over the flower crabs and then topped with ginger, green onion, and fragrant chicken oil. The crab is steamed in this rich sauce and then finally served with flat rice noodles.

The homemade chicken fat adds richness and meaty fragrance while the shaoxing wine offers a layer of floral aromatics to the crab and clam jus, the essence of this rich broth soaked up by the delicate rice noodles, rendering deliciousness in every mouthful.

甬府 十八斬 Yong Fu  Crab.jpg

2. 18-Cut Crab

Yong Fu
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2023


Yong Fu's signature dish, the 18-Cut Crab, is so named for its technique of cutting raw blue swimmer crabs from Ningbo into 18 perfect pieces, each with an equal dab of creamy roe. The dish requires the chef to have excellent chopping skills and an innate understanding of a crab’s physiology to derive those 18 delicate pieces — each full of crab meat and roe, but no shell fragments, so that every mouthful is as tender as tofu. Diners can savour the sweet, soft crab elegantly, with no need for getting their hands dirty; the very act of eating is a reflection of the delicacy of Ningbo’s food culture.

To select crabs for this dish, blue swimmer crabs from the East China Sea, at their plumpest in autumn, are fished and then flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen to lock in their flavours. In the kitchen, they are marinated in Ningbo’s speciality Laomaoji rice vinegar, soy sauce, and huadiao wine, an umami-rich flavour profile characteristic of Ningbo cuisine.

One of Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine's signature dishes is the Black Pepper Crab, which comes huge and plump and cooked well in the wok.
One of Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine's signature dishes is the Black Pepper Crab, which comes huge and plump and cooked well in the wok.

3. Black Pepper Crab

Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine (Tsim Sha Tsui)
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2023


Established in Singapore nearly 20 years ago, Imperial Treasure’s signature dish is its Singapore-style black pepper crab. Large meaty crabs are flown in from Australia, their plump meat served well by wok-frying. The shells are cracked before the dish is served, making it easy to retrieve the meat, every morsel tender, smooth and rich with spicy flavourful black pepper sauce that complements rather than overwhelms the natural flavours of the crab.

One of Ming Court’s signature dishes is the deep-fried breaded stuffed crab shell with fresh crab meat, a dish that you’ll see on nearly every table in the restaurant.
One of Ming Court’s signature dishes is the deep-fried breaded stuffed crab shell with fresh crab meat, a dish that you’ll see on nearly every table in the restaurant.

4. Stuffed Crab Shell

Ming Court (Mong Kok)
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2023

One of the signature dishes of Ming Court in Mong Kok is the deep-fried breaded stuffed crab shell with fresh crab meat, a dish that you’ll see on nearly every table in the restaurant.

The dish was considered quite unconventional in the 1990s but has now become a Cantonese classic. Though offered in many restaurants, not every establishment will go the extra mile to break down a fresh crab and season the meat. The process required carefully gathering the meat from three types of seasonal crabs, chosen for the tastes and textures they lend to the dish. The meat is stir-fried with onion, coconut milk, and cream before being stuffed back into its carapace; and then breaded and deep-fried. The golden and crisp exterior cuts open to reveal delicate creamy crab meat — a satisfying treat, indeed!

The Garlic Ginger Rice Steamed Crab rice is Tai Wai Dining Room’s signature dish, bursting with so much flavour and aroma.
The Garlic Ginger Rice Steamed Crab rice is Tai Wai Dining Room’s signature dish, bursting with so much flavour and aroma.

5. Garlic Ginger Steamed Crab Rice

Tai Wai Dining Room (Tai Wai)
Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2023

The Garlic Ginger Steamed Crab Rice is Tai Wai Dining Room’s calling card. For this signature dish, the type of crab used changes seasonally — meaty sea crabs, creamy roe crabs, or young female crabs, depending on what’s best in that season.

On the current menu is Sri Lankan blue crab. Thai Golden Phoenix rice is stir-fried with crushed ginger, egg whites, and rich prawn stock — almost 8 pounds of prawns are used for every 20 ounces of the precious liquid — and then, the crab is wrapped in lotus leaves with the rice mixture and then steamed. The steaming basket opens to reveal heady clouds of gingery, garlicky crab. Mix the creamy orange crab paste into the rice for a moreish experience.

Translated by Rachel Tan.
All images are from the restaurants.

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