Kobako (Barrel) Crab | 香箱ガニ丼

Kobako (Barrel) Crab | 香箱ガニ丼

What you are looking at is the Kobako (Barrel) crab which is a female snow crab, fished around the Hokuriku region. It is rather petite in size compared to the male snow crab (Zuwaigani) , but has a mushroom egg and a orange colored inner child consisting the miso. Although the quantity per crab is small it is full of umami (rich taste). Since these are female crabs the fishing periods are restricted, a seasonal delicacy.
Not often do I see these Kobako crabs in Tokyo. Luckily encountered these (barely) alive crabs at a local supermarket fish section which I was able to grab 4 ‘live’ crabs enough to make a rich ‘Crab Don (Crab over hot rice)’ .


The male snow crab, ZUWAIGANI at the Noto Morning Market.

香箱ガニは値段もそこそこお腹の中にある外子(卵)と、甲羅の中にある内子(未熟成卵)とかに味噌が絶品です! コクがあり旨みが凝縮されたカニミソと内子、ぷちぷちとした食感がたまらない外子。サイズが小さいため、足の身も少ないが、味はズワイよりも濃厚で甘みがあります。
The Kobako Crabs are really petite. The body is approximately less than 10 centimeters and boiled for about 20 minutes before separating the meat.
Preparing and removing the crab meat is a rigorous job but fortunately I come equipped with a husband who loves to prepare the Kobako Crab, thus the photos below are done by him after 3 full long hours of meticulous picking and removing. He has done a wonderful job! Good job! Well done!

This is the Kobako Don, Don is a term we use for ‘over rice’. People travel to Hokuriku during the crab season to taste the Kobako Don, a dish made famous by a (late) famous novelist and short story writer, Kaiko Ken. Here is a dedicated site.
PS ) It is also called the SEIKO Crab in some areas.

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