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臺中市

“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!

Written by Senior Editor, Xue-yao KUO and Senior Travel Editor, Rabbit

It is said in the time Emperor Yu tamed the flood, there were bugs nipping and hurting people and undermined the river banks of Lake Yang-Cheng. The official in charge, Ba-xie, tried to dig a ditch and used fire to allure the bugs into the ditch then boiled them to death. To people’s surprise, the bug turned red all over and emanated a good smell. Ba-xie first tasted it and found it a heavenly dish. To commend Ba-xie’s spirit of trying first, people added the “bug” word (a Chinese character) under “xie” (also a Chinese character and the sound of “crab” is same as “thanks” in Mandarin).

So Yummy! “Xie Xie” ChingDong for the Efforts
Every Fall, people crave for crabs would pay attention to the launch time of hairy-fisted crabs. The name of hairy-fisted crab in Mandarin (as Da-zha Xie) comes from the fishing practice that fishermen use bamboos to make fences at the convergence of rivers and creeks to curb the crabs’ way and collect them. Hairy-fisted crab, the scientific name “eriocheir sinensis”, is originally found in the east coast area and rivers or lakes in China flowing to or connecting with the ocean. At first Taiwanese imported them or went to China in person to taste them, even the price was dear. In recent years, there are businessmen introduced the young crabs for farming. “ChingDong Chinese Hair Crab” is one of the few legal domestic farms for the crabs.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Opening only 2 months each year, ChingDong Chinese Hair Crab is ran by an used-to-be pharmacist, Xi-ching HUANG and his father in law, Dong-bin LIN; the owners insist on preparation and care work with enough long time. Since every December, preparation and care starts and includes growing the aquatic plants, stocking juvenile crabs before Chinese New Year, feeding them the wheat germ, waiting for several fattening cycles to keeping observation till end of September for collection.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
The collected hairy-fisted crabs will be washed by clean water then take a special “Bubbling Spa” bath to drink and spit out the water in order to further spit out the sands in their abdominal segments. Then they will be processed through circulation water till they show “golden-hair chelipeds, porcelain-white abdomen and green carapace” can they be marketed.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
As for the tips of picking crabs, the owner said female crabs are more developed after Cold Dew, a solar term; while male crabs are stronger around Beginning of Winter, also a solar term. Weighing by hands, the heavier and thicker, the better. From the appearance, the top quality crabs are with grass green carapace, ivory white abdomen and rusty spots around the apron. In addition, when the chelipeds are tied without safety concerns, slightly pinch its last second leg can also tell whether its body is full enough.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
The picked hairy-fisted crabs are tied with juncus effuses before cooking. Steaming by big fire for 12-15 minutes and the crab is ready to serve. Have the scissors and the lobster fork in hand before eating.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Many people think it is troublesome eating crabs, but the owner said there are tips. First, separate the crab legs and chelipeds from the body. When they are cooled down, the crab meat will separate from the shell. Then remove the apron, open the shell and remove the gill. Finally, remove the stomach and heart.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
The hairy-fisted crabs in season are full of crab roes and paste, make sure to eat them when they are hot or warm. Then split the body into 2 halves to fork the meat out. Cut the crab legs and chelipeds in to 3 pieces each and use the pick to help get the meat out. The crab meat with a touch of saltiness and the crab roes and paste with sweetness plus the light grassy aroma of the juncus effuses makes it a so desirable delicacy that even gourmets can’t have enough!
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Customers would like to taste the crabs right away after picking; therefore, ChingDong Chinese Hair Crab also provide cooking-on-behalf service. The chef is Mr. LIN and his wife. They also serve home-made dishes cooked with local fresh food materials, fully expressing the spirit of “from farm to table”.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!

The owner said it is not easy to farm the hairy-fisted crabs. Even reading all kinds of books on crab farming, the farming and observation through practices are still critical so that they could know how to adjust and find the best way. Every harvest season, the whole family would be mobilized to collect the crabs and tie them by juncus effuses. The accumulation of experiences is the reason ChingDong Chinese Hair Crab can do better and better and therefore enjoy popularity in the market. In the next harvest season of the hairy-fisted crabs, don’t forget to come to ChingDong Chinese Hair Crab and have a “Xie Xie” ecological trip!

It’s Fun! “Xie Xie” the Hometown of Artisans
World famous “Dajia Hat made of juncus effuses” originates from “Hometown of Artisans’ Leisure Farm” located in Dajia District, Taichung City. This is not only the hometown of grandma Wei, KE ZHUANG, a national-treasure artisan and winner of Global Chinese Culture and Arts Award, but also the base for the production and knitting of juncus effuses and its relevant industrial development. It is also a leisure farm area mingling villages with nature experiences and a place with field and costal scenery. “Kui-Hai Leisure Farm” is one of the popular scenic spots.

Who said Taiwan doesn’t have good nature environment? Follow the farm owner, Mr. Ren-yu SHAO to the estuary where is an “estuary ecological classroom” in need of no school teachers. Especially the intertidal zone in ebb hours, there are two hours each, before and after the lowest tide, when the fiddler crabs are the most active and ready for foraging and courting so that it is easy to spot them. But the fiddler crabs are easily scared and tend to hide away, be patient and keep distance to observe quietly. Parents bringing kids also have to keep in mind that asides from keeping an eye on kids’ safety, teaching kids the ideas such as “No fiddler crab catching; No garbage left” so to pass down the ecological education to future generations.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Back to the farm, many great activities await. Kids are especially energetic and enjoy playing with water. But the safety issues are the adults’ concern. “Kui-Hai Leisure Farm” considerately builds a lotus ecological pond with the water depth to an adult’s calf so that both adults and kids can stand inside playing with water, feeding the fish, or experiencing the fun of boat rowing and fishing. It is built for parents and kids to have fun together.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
“Earth Oven Cooking” is an experiential activity in Kui-Hai Leisure Farm that can’t be missed! The farm provides the firewood, tools and food materials such as chicken, potatoes and eggs for the tourists to burn the firewood, close the oven with the mud by themselves. After completing all the steps, they can visit other places and come back to open the oven in 2 hours.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
When the oven is opened, the aroma of roasted chicken and potatoes emanates all over. It is really 5-star flavors in the wild together with the Dajia taro rice, having a sweet mouth feel prepared by the farm!
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Besides the earth oven cooking and ecological pond experiences, the farm owner also meticulously designed other activities. Many groups come here and ask to experience the “DIY: Kuih Rolled by Vegetables”, because this is a place producing rice and in the past during the festivities, women in the villages had to make the Kuih Rolled by Vegetables. The owner wants to make people know the past lifestyle in the village through the explanation and DIY activity.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
No semi-finished rolls provided, tourists will clean the vegetable leaves, knead the dough, stuff the filling, make the shape and put the rolls to the food steamer. Mr. SHAO would like everyone to experience the process from the beginning to eat their DIY result. Besides, Dajia is also famous for taros, “Kui-Hai Leisure Farm” also offers “DIY: Dajia Taro Cake” activity. Next time when you visit Dajia in Taichung, don’t rush to buy ready taro cakes in the souvenir stores because you know where to go to make your own now.
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Coming to” Kui-Hai Leisure Farm”, you are free from boring activities. In addition to general parent-kid activities, the farm owner would cater to different groups’ needs in designing tour contents. Outdoor activities for kids include DIY: Kuih Rolled by Vegetables, watching fiddler crabs, playing with water and farming in the field; for cooperation outings or team building events, there are earth oven cooking, boat rowing, and activities led by instructors. If you would like to visit other scenic spots, there is also “Dajia One-Day Tour” available. There is so much fun here; you are more than welcomed to join!
“Xie-Xie”with CRABS: Tasting Delicious Hairy-fisted Crab in Taichung!
Hometown of Artisans’ Leisure Farm

ADD: No. 16-5 Lane 121, Shunfan Rd, Dajia District, Taichung City<br/>TEL: 0960-395-296<br/>Website: http://www.tachia.org.tw/artisan/

ChingDong Chinese Hair Crab

ADD: No. 564-5 Zhongshan Rd, Jingpu Village, Qingshui District, Taichung City (Right across Qingshui, Tsz Wan Palace)<br/>TEL: 0910-567-872<br/>Website: https://www.facebook.com/cdcrab/

Kui-Hai Leisure Farm

ADD: No.7-1 Lane 31, Ruyi Rd, Xiqi Village, Dajia District, Taichung City<br/>TEL: 04-26815925(Please call to make a reservation for package tour)<br/>Website: http://www.artisans.com.tw/