Watarigani for Chinese New Year. Little crabs, spicy marinade

That’s food to eat with your fingers so you can lick them after…

Watarigani. Japanese small soft-shell crabs. They are often just boiled in a hot pot, but prepared this way they become even more delicious.

The sauce, the seafood and veggies. The sauce is a personal arrangement of the Taiwanese sachajang (sacha sauce).
Today my marinade contained : mini shrimps in salty brine (ami ebi), garlic, onion, ginger, leek whites, negi leek greens, red chili, Okinawan sake, soy sauce and rice vinegar. I minced and mixed 30 minutes before using.

The crabs are coated with starch, then deep fried.

And covered with the marinade. Turned 2 or 2 times, about 10 minutes. They absorb a good amount of the sauce. Then transfer on the cabbage.

Red crab curry

Today, a South-East Asia style crab curry. That’s very easy to make using bought Thai red curry paste.

Watarigani. Japanese small soft-shell crabs.


Mushrooms, okra, onion, red curry paste, coconut milk… then powdered curry spices.

The crabs.

Bloop bloop bloop bloop…

Then enjoy the delicacy with a little lemon juice, hot rice…

Yukiguni nabe hot pot (via GiO)


It’s a meal that cooked itself on the table. A nabe (Japanese hot pot). Yukiguni (Snow Country)…

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Yukiguni nabe hot pot (kani 2)

It’s a meal that cooked itself on the table. A nabe (Japanese hot pot). Yukiguni (Snow Country) -for those that don’t follow – is the nickname of an area of Japan, the West side of Japanese Alps, facing the Sea of Japan. The main ingredients used today are from there. It’s not a classic but an improvisation.

Preparation is basic : put veggies on a plate.

Shimeji mushrooms and shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves).

Konnyaku noodles, whites of negi leeks, benishiki sprouts (to garnish the rice, not to put inside the pot).

Hand-made momen (cotton) tofu, carrots and yukiguni miso. Yes, it’s miso from the Snow Country.

The illustration is from the box of “nihonkai miso” (Sea of Japan miso), the koji miso of Little Yuki (or Miss Snow). It’s fermented rice (koji) miso. Very sweet.

The rice is koshihikari from the Yukiguni too. So everything is assorted.

This is the nabe (=pot) on the fire. I have pre-boiled the crab and collected a part of the broth and filtered it.

You fill in a little of everything…

And you put on high heat. Can you see the maelstrom ? You can also cover the nabe with its lid for a few minutes.

Everything has got an enhanced taste from that collective public bath…

With rice…

I had actually 2 plates of veggies. I ate the first and the crab, that was a meal.
Then I filled the pot with the second set of veggies and tofu, to eat later. The leftover soup is particularly delicious as tastes are concentrated.

That’s a healthy party mood meal. If you want to celebrate with family and friends and some of the guests are worrying about their waistline, go for a veggie and seafood nabe.
The whole set : crab, veggies, leftover…

Cal 652.5 F7.4g C102.9g P48.9g