In Hong Kong, the onset of autumn is signified not by the fiery hues of fall foliage, but by an altogether more drool-inducing sight: oodles of golden roe bursting out of freshly steamed hairy crabs. And where better to witness this phenomenon than your Instagram feed, as your foodie friends engage in a game of seasonal one-upmanship, competing to see who has the better luck in cracking open the most roe-filled crustacean?
While banquet halls and neighbourhood pop-ups have traditionally been the place in Hong Kong to pick up and dig into a hairy crab of your own, Instagram has provided a new front for crab shopping, as entrepreneurs follow the money right to your phone screen in a new ritual made possible by social media, e-payment systems and same-day delivery.
Deliveries are normally dropped off in cooler bags and come complete with crab-eating tools (scissors and picks), shiso leaves to steam the crabs with, Zhejiang dipping vinegar, and "heaty" ginger tea to counteract the qi-cooling effect of the roe. For peace of mind, look out for vendors who can provide a health and import certificate upon request.
Keep scrolling for our pick of the best places to buy hairy crab on Instagram, and may the odds be ever in your favour!
1. Yick Fung Crab
Offering crabs ranging between 4.5 taels (170g) to 8 taels (300g) in weight, Yick Fung Crab is one of the few Instagram vendors with a website, making it all the easier to place your order. Yick Fung also offers abalone and poon choi for those who want to round out their feast. Orders over HK$800 are eligible for free delivery.