“Look dear!” my better half exclaimed while tugging at my arm. We were at Nijo Fish Market in Sapporo and there was a stall selling a trio of crab delicacies. We just ate at the Michelin rated Nanabe but I could tell she was intrigued by the crab bonanza so I ordered a set for us to try. You can get a Crab Steamed Bun + Crab Gratin + Crab Miso Soup for 1,200 JPY (about RM 50) or individually for 500 yen each.
Hokkaido is famous for their fresh and local crabs. Red King Crabs and Snow Crabs are the most well known ones but they have other delicious and more obscure species that only foodies would know, like the Horsehair Crab and Spiny King Crab which we ate the day before. Otaru also has a variety called the Sand Crab. They’re all really good and if you want to have a crab feast, you’ll do no wrong in coming to Sapporo.
The friendly owner did the Crab Gratin right it front of us. There is a makeshift bench and chairs in the open where 3-4 people can sit down while eating. The crab in the shell was brought out and torched on the table. It was quite cold in Hokkaido and he suggested moving inside (to opposite the road) where they had a restaurant to get out of the wind and snow and so we did.
It was about time for lunch and although I was still full from the Bib Gourmand ramen, I thought I should eat local Hokkaido crabs while I still can. The place specializes in donburi – a rice bowl with regular hot rice topped with fresh sashimi. I went for the Fresh King Crab Sashimi Donburi (2,700 JPY or RM 110) and it was glorious!
The donburi was topped with beautiful thick slices of raw Red King Crab. It was slightly more than a leg’s worth of crab meat. If you’ve never eaten King Crab before, the legs are super meaty. It’s not like mud crabs or flower crabs at all. The size of the meat from the King Crab leg is the same dimension as those highlighter pens you used in high school.
The raw crab was slippery, clean and sweet tasting. Wonderful stuff. There’s nothing quite like eating king crab with shiso (perilla) leaves and a dab of real, freshly grated wasabi. They serve a mean bowl of crab miso soup too. It’s complimentary with my order of donburi so naturally it wasn’t as good as my dear’s 500 yen bowl.
I present to you, the 1,200 yen trio of crab! This was taken in the cold outdoor seating before we came inside.
The thing that actually caught her eye was the Crab Gratin. The kind proprietor actually helped us to take the dishes into his other shop across the street. There is a generous amount of King Crab meat in addition to the melted cheese, breadcrumbs, and butter. Good heartwarming stuff.
The Crab Steamed Bun was decent too. I knew my dear liked it so I didn’t eat too much (and besides, I had my own donburi) but the tiny bite I had tasted delicious. There are only two items inside – vegetables and crab. They really stuff a lot of real Red King Crab meat inside.
Check out my better half’s 500 JPY bowl of Crab Miso Soup from the “Crab 3 Ways” set. It’s truly a luxurious bowl of soup. They use Horsehair Crab, Red King Crab, and Spiny King Crab inside – all three are wonderful in soup, especially miso soup.
The stall at Nijo Fish Market actually sells all varieties of local Hokkaido crabs so the dishes are made from fresh crab meat. There is a lot of said crab meat too, I guess what they don’t sell in time gets turned into food. The Japanese are really serious about freshness – even a day is considered “old” so you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you eat crab in Sapporo. There are also many “crab buffets” in town but I would personally avoid them. The locals don’t go anywhere near crab buffets coz the quality is nowhere near as good as the stuff you pay for in the markets. I don’t mind paying extra for awesome quality crab and this was the best!
11 thoughts on “Crab Feast in Hokkaido: Raw King Crab Donburi and a Trio of Crabs (Crab Steamed Bun, Crab Gratin, Crab Miso Soup) in Nijo Fish Market”
Wow, these crabs put all the crabs I have ever eaten in my life to shame 🙁
I have never eaten a crab pau before. Just the other day I ate crab rendang and I thought it was adventurous and now I read this.. pfft!
Thanks for warning us not to go for crab buffets. Now I know must go to the market for fresh crabs. I would love to eat the crab pau. When is the best time to go there for the crabs?
Wowwwww!!!! Crab everything! Everything looks good! I did sample sea crab sashimi last night, post on that coming up soon in my blog.
Looks delicious. It must be very fresh to eat like that. I never tried it before. I hope I can go to Japan to eat nice crab.
I remember this place! There were plenty of dried seafood on sale during our visit, we did not eat anything there though
When you guys retire, must stay in each country of the world for a year. Can see from here, you enjoyed this place verymuch.
Memang crab galore. The meT must have been very sweet
Shoot, I really shouldn’t have been reading at your post at this hour. I’m actually hungry after looking at the freshly cooked crabs, lol.
Omg, the Crab Steamed Bun does look like it’s delicious! The crabs in Hokkaido are fresher that the ones available both in KL and Adelaide, and I really like how the folks in Hokkaido have incorporated crabs into their dishes. =)
I can already imagine the succulent, juicy meat. 😉
I didn’t know you can eat crab RAW. I see sushi like prawn and crab is always cooked. How does raw crab taste?
Crab galore it is!!! Your dear can barely contain her happiness!! XD
truly fresh! yum!
anyway, i heard that the radiation in japan was actually worst now than previously? although it is rumours.
The crab beat bun looks fluffy and tasty but the hair intact on the crab leg in the soup is quite gross 😛