Sunday, 8 July 2007
Seen in the River Thames since the 1930s, the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) first arrived in Blightly as tiny larvae in ballast water in ships from China and Korea. Now there are loads of the bastards!
By burrowing into the rivers banks, (which causes rapid erosion) and eating enough stuff to put pressure on native plants and animals, they haven’t always received the welcome the deserve.
The good news is they’re not only delicious, but also very easy to catch!!
These hairy-clawed-snax-on-legs are rated 'proper delicious' in china.
The shell of a large one can be eight centimetres across. Making them perfect for the BarBQ.
You'll be please to hear the scientific community is united in its praise for this culinary delight; one serving suggestion, that sounds both thrilling and practical, comes from Richard Tullis, biology professor at California State University,
"Fixed Asian style, stir-fried with garlic, soy and ginger... it will also turn on non-Asians."
Who could ask for more than that?
Philip Rainbow (keeper of zoology at the Natural History Museum in London, England) concludes:
"The culinary route may represent our best culling strategy if we are to limit its potentially damaging environmental effects." Yummy!!
PS FOR READERS FROM THE USA (especially on the east coast)
If you catch or find a mitten crab: please keep it, frozen is best, on ice second choice, or preserved in rubbing alcohol.
Take a close-up photo of the beastie, and email your picture with
the precise location and date of the find to SERCMittenCrab@si.edu If you can’t take a photo, contact the
Mitten Crab Hotline on (443-482-2222).
PLEASE DO NOT THROW IT BACK ALIVE!!