Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crabtastic

In San Francisco, Dungeness crab season opens about the same time as Thanksgiving every year.
I was born in the Bay Area (Oakland), but I don't have the local tradition of eating crab for Thanksgiving. My Navy family was too far flung to develop that habit.
However. I am no fool. If Dungeness is on hand, I am ready.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, but today we enjoyed a dish I first tasted at Shanghai 1930. It was a dish of buttery tofu, mingled with warm crab chunks. The crab happened to be bearing its own roe at the time I tried it at the restaurant. Beauty.
It doesn't sing "Thanksgiving" to me, but, again, I am no fool. I loved it.
The crab we bought today was not graced with its own roe, so we bought a little salmon caviar. I would probably have preferred tobiko, but the store we shop at wouldn't allow it. "It's dyed," they said. I doubt that, but I was stymied.
Nonetheless. Good eating, with a generous pat of butter and a whirr in the microwave. Don't know where all that liquid came from. So what. We scooped it up and ate it.

12 comments:

Chilebrown said...

I am so jealous. I went down to our local Internationl market last Friday (San Pablo). The crabs in the well were big. They were also 8 dollars a pound. No guarantee of being local.
Being Local is crucial because of the sweetness.
I am going back this Friday. I cannot resist!

cookiecrumb said...

ChileBrown: Cranky asked the fishmonger how fresh these crabs were.
"It depends on the weather," he replied. There would be fresh crabs if it wasn't too stormy.
So I figure they're pretty local.
No idea how much Cranky paid. :(

Kailyn said...

As soon as my stomach settles, I must go in search of crab.

kudzu said...

Ah, it's the microwave that caused the liquidity but, as you say, you scooped it right up -- as well you should. I am jonesing for crab and may sneak out and buy some on Friday between holiday "events". (I agree: tobiko rules.)

dancingmorganmouse said...

Ohh, I could eat pots and pots of salmon roe - tis my favourite treat (well, one of my many favourties).
Hey, Happy Throgsgafen to you & Mr Crankey.

Lannae said...

Happy TG! Crab roe may have to become one of my new TG traditions.

Michelle said...

Having worked on Dungeness crab for 5 years during my PhD, I have enjoyed the fresh meat of many a crab, but would never have thought of a dish such as this! It sounds spectacular and I love the way the bright color and shiny pop of the roe sets off the creaminess of the crab. I love the idea of eating Thanksgiving foods that are local to where you are - something I want to incorporate while we are here in Hawaii (though, sadly, not this year!). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Cookie (and Cranky!)!

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: Take it easy for a few days; you gots some digesting to do!!

Kudzu: Yep, must have been exuded by microwave waves. Creepy (but the taste was fine). I'll do it in the oven next time and hope for less wet results.
Cranky and I are also thinking about sneaking out on Friday for a little shopping. Suicide!!!

Morgan: Thank you, dearie! I'm blowing you salmon-roe-scented kisses.

Lannae: If you are so lucky as to find crab roe. However, just settle for some buttery crab. I think blue crab would be just as divine.
(But not King crab; yecchh.)
Happy TG to you too!

Michelle: What a hoot! You are an expert on Dungeness biology!!! And you got to eat your lab specimens!!!
In junior high school, I did a paper on strongylocentrotus drobachiensis.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and LB!

Michelle said...

Cookie, ha ha - I can't figure out if it's cool or sick that I eat my own lab specimens...glad you think it's cool ;) That would be a sea urchin you worked with, no? What was your paper about? Wish I got to do cool things like that when I was in junior high! Hope you two had a great T-day too!

cookiecrumb said...

Michelle: I am so glad you came back. No, in junior high you don't "work with" specimens. I think I was just stealing stuff from Britannica, the way we always did.
But, yeah! Green Pacific sea urchin. I lived on Whidbey Island at the time.
(Oh, may I end by saying my late father in law worked at Woods Hole? He was a physicist, though, not into fauna. Wouldn't even eat chicken, the sissy.)

Zoomie said...

We had crab that night, too, just cracked and served on newspapers as we do. Sweet, literally and figuratively! We went around the table talking about what we were thankful for. It's a good exercise!

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: It's so easy and tasty, isn't it?
I'm familiar with your paper-covered table!! Yay.