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Shelling out for a veritable crayfish feast
2015-05-14
By Yoyo.He

It has been reported that more than 1.4 million crayfish are eaten every day in Shanghai. The astonishing number indicates the crustacean’s popularity in the city. Crayfish is a popular late-night snack in May and June, the best time of the year to eat the little critters. Yoyo He offers a guide to picking the best crayfish and how
to peel them with ease.

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The bigger the better
Most crayfish lovers invariably argue that bigger is better because they get
more bang for the buck. Nothing beats that big, meaty bite of this crustacean.
Crayfish come in different sizes. See for yourself.

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The difference between males and females
Female crayfish contains tasty roe. There are some basic external features
to look for when differentiating a male from a female crayfish. You can look
closely at the back two sets of pleopods, which look like thin spiny legs
below the actual legs. The back two pleopods, also called swimmerets, are
the ones just after the legs. These swimmerets will be longer and shaped like
prongs in males and undeveloped in females.

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Check out the color of the gills
The crayfish has gills to breathe. The gills are a part of the exoskeleton and can be found under the carapace. This adaption is a very sensitive and vulnerable area and filters impurities from the water. One can tell the water quality of where the crayfish was raised from the color of the gills. Lighter color gills indicate the crayfish came from a clean environment.

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Now we offer free crayfish from Sea Food House— each order is worth 88 yuan
(US$14.10). Sea Food House is a new seafood takeaway restaurant founded by a group of young and trendy Shanghainese with the slogan, “We have passion and we love food.”Click
HERE to join!

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Steps to eating crayfish

Now we invite Erick Xue, the owner of Sea Food House to break down the steps to cracking open crayfish. “First of all, we cook the crayfish long enough and make sure it was alive before cooking. The general idea is to twist off the tail, then to pull, squeeze or suck out the meat. Don’t forget to remove the shrimp’s colon, which looks like a black line down the center of its back,” says Sea Food House owner Eric Xue.

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Here comes his detailed demonstration.

Step 1

Twist and separate the tail from the rest of the crayfish. Bending the tail sideways works better than up-and down. The head may be
discarded.

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“If you are an enthusiast who enjoys tasting the spices in the body, suck the head
and try the roe first,”Eric suggests.
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Step 2

Peel off the narrow bands of shell material and start from the middle to facilitate removal of the meat. Gently pinch the body of the crayfish along its length to loosen the meat while holding the tail. 

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“It’s just like squeezing oranges to make the skin come off easier. If you do it right, the meat will come out quickly and in one piece.”

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STEP 3
Separate the meat from its shell with a firm grasp at the base of the tail.

IMG_60201.jpgLast but not least, the vein of the crayfish should be completely removed and
left out together with the tail.

IMG_60241.jpgNow,dunk into the sauce of your choice and enjoy.

0512_5.jpgRecommended venues

Sea Food House

This takeaway seafood restaurant is dedicated to eating healthy by offering nutritious and tasty seafood. The founders are a group of fashionable young men
committed to avoiding chemical food additives and hired a former executive chef of a five-star hotel. Offering great variety at competitive prices, they serve everything from lobster and mussels to smoked salmon and spicy crayfish. There’s also abalone porridge and beef ribs. One can browse the menu featuring tons of seasonal seafood on their official WeChat account “seafoodhouse-sh” and easily order online with no extra charge. Or call their delivery hotline and enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Delivery will arrive within 30 minutes.

Tel: 400-648-1218

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Ms Hong’s Crayfish
This crayfish restaurant has a branch in Baoshan District and another in Jing’an. Ms Hong’s is famous for its iced crayfish as they only use big ones. Live crayfish are on display for customers to choose. The venue’s interior decor has a vintage look with old thermos bottles and typewriters used as decorations.

Tel: 021 6240-1197

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Xia Man Tang
Located close to Xijiao Bailian Shopping Mall, this restaurant has four outlets in Shanghai. The decor is quite trendy with dim lights, comfortable seats and a clean environment. The menu features more than 20 different flavors, giving crayfish lovers many reasons to come back for more.

Tel: 021-5448-0086

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