Experiences - Asia

Korean Snow Crab Festival Plus How to Cook Snow Crab

Yeongdeok Crab Village is a traditional crab fishery village on South Korea’s east coast and has long been luring seafood-lovers during peak snow crab season (November to May). Snow crab is a Korean delicacy. It was once fed to kings, and now this coveted crustacean is the star of the annual Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival.

The snow crab is good eating any time of year, but is especially delicious at the time of the festival. The festival sees the village’s population swell to the 500,000 mark as festival-goers converge to feast and buy the famous daegae or snow crab.

The program is filled with activities for all fancies, but the snow crab public auctions and the snow crab market are the biggest draw cards. Thousands of crabs are sold at the auctions during the festival and visitors have the chance to put in a bid too. If you’re bidding or buying, remember to look for live crab with the legs still attached – these are the highest quality crab. The markets also make buying in bulk extremely affordable.

Other activities on the festival’s program include an opening ceremony, snow crab cooking competitions, local performances and a re-enactment of the ceremonial walk of King Taejo. Those keen to get a hands-on experience can
even catch their own crab or jump aboard crab fishing boat. Of course, there are opportunities for visitors to taste snow crab too, with various free samples and eateries dishing up local crab fare.

snow crab

Image courtesy: nelgdev used under Creative Commons Licence

It’s free to attend the festival. This year, the festival will run from 31 March through 3 April, with activities concentrated around the Gangguhang Port area.

If you can’t make it to Korea, follow these simple steps for cooking snow crab at home, available frozen here in Australia:

1. Thaw your snow crab legs in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re pressed for time, rinse then under cold running water. Squeeze the thickest part of the leg to test if it is thawed.

2. Place a steamer basket over a wok of simmering water. Add the crab legs, then cover and steam for 6-8 minutes until heated through.

3. Alternatively, you can cook the snow crab legs by wrapping them in foil, then baking then in the oven at 200°C for 8-10 minutes.

4. Serve with kitchen scissors and a crab fork to remove all of the sweet, rich crab meat.

Hungry for more crab creations? Discover three easy crab delicacies.

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