Upon my arrival in Shanghai, my aunt made one of my favorite dishes -- Mi Tu Ha (or Mian Tuo Shia in Mandarin or Flour Drag Crab in English). I used to have this dish all the time when I was little, so brought back many fond memories... Here are the Dazha Shia (or Hairy Crabs) we got from the local market. They look just like spiders!
The crabs are cut in half, sorry crabbies, then dipped in flour.
They are fried first with the battered side down, then chopped ginger, soy sauce, sugar, Shaoshing cooking wine, and other seasonings are added. My aunt varied the recipe a bit by throwing in a little nian gao.
Here it is, the final product! IMO, one of the major flaws of American Chinese cuisine is the excessive sauce... actually most Chinese dishes only have enough sauce to coat the underlying ingredient. Here it is just perfect, when I bite into it, the slight sweetness, gingery-ness, soy saucey-ness and gooey-ness complement the natural flavors of the crabs perfectly.
A close up... look at the golden delicious roe, if I could only reach into my computer and grab it and eat it!