Sometimes I get crabby.

Who doesn’t? With a small amount of sleep, or when something goes wrong it can be quite understandable. In Hokkaido however it’s not me for any of those reasons, nope for me on Hokkaido I get crabs, to eat.

20170430_145140In fact I’ve never seen this much crab, there’s easily more crab here than Kanazawa, and this small fish market in Sapporo is only a fraction of the size of the market there. With this much crab available amongst the fish selection it would be silly not to eat it, also, much of the crab I see is King Crab, thus presenting to me a luxury that I will never again be able to buy this fresh and at these low prices.

I really like the look of the crab shop with a few trestle tables set up on the pavement, it’s rustic, it looks authentic and from here I can smell that briny smell of the fresh seafood and enjoy the action of the street. Sure it’s a cold morning but I’m sure the warm crab soup I ordered will stop my teeth from chattering.

P1100888The King crab tempura was the first item to be eaten, it had been delivered to the crab stall from its restaurant just across the street, the crispy tempura coating steaming into the cool morning air, this was going to be a breakfast to remember, the sweet crab, bountiful and free from shell, simply dunked in the light sauce provided needed no more embellishment.

Steamed crab nikuman was quite different to any steamed bun I had eaten. Period. It was decidedly European in flavour and to me the centre was reminiscent of a chowder, laden with both crab and vegetables bound in a thick white sauce and served inside a steamed bun. It was really good and with none of the flavours detracting from the taste of the fresh crab inside.

P1100892The crab gratin put the one from Osaka to shame, this was crab, there was no filler here, just a little mornay sauce hot and bubbly inside the top crab shell, glazed with a blowtorch to give it an attractive browned surface.

I kept the crab miso soup to last, the hot, lightly clouded miso broth keeping the large chunks of crab warm while I dug into the other items, The abundant crab meat easy to remove from the shell with just a pair of chopsticks and a little patience, the light miso flavour of the soup combining well with the sweet crab. I’m glad I kept this to last so I had a belly fortified with warm crab broth as I get about my day.