ChowDown Vancouver: Where crabs are king

Post by Michelle Pereira in

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king crab
King crab is served with pride at Sun Sui Wah restaurant

CityCaucus.com is pleased to present Michelle Pereira's latest ChowDown Vancouver submission, the first since the Olympic closing ceremony...

If you ever watch the Discovery's Channel's The Deadliest Catch, you can’t help but be enthralled by the mighty king crab. Found in the Bering Strait, fishers risk their lives for a few days in the middle of winter to harvest what is arguably one of the tastiest crabs in the world. A few choice Vancouver restaurants serve king crab year-around with prices getting as high as $42/lb by February. But then the fishing boats come back with their harvest and its king crab season. For those of you who have never tasted this delectable treat, March is the ideal time to start prowling and over the next couple of weeks prices will come down to hit rock bottom at several of our top class Chinese restaurants. The current price is $13.80/lb which is probably as low as it’ll go.

King crabs are very large and it's best to go with a group of 6-8 people so you can have a feast. Make sure you order one that’s at least 8-9 lbs as a crab this size will be sweet with plenty of meat. This past weekend, I headed out to Sun Sui Wah, perhaps one of the best known king crab restaurants in the city. With eight of us at the table, we got our fill of king crab plus a selection of other dishes. We asked for the crab to be prepared in the traditional three ways: legs split and steamed in plenty of garlic; knuckles deep fried with chilies and salt; and the carapace (shell) stuffed with a seafood rice prepared Portuguese style with a mild curry sauce.

Typical side dishes include Yee Mein noodles (great for soaking up all the delicious crab juices, sweet pea tips with garlic, and crispy skin chicken. Other dishes I’d recommend are the poached fresh prawns which you peel and dip in a soy based sauce (order 2 lbs for 8 people) and the sautéed beef with XO sauce.  One dish I’d pass on next time is the chicken stuffed with shrimp which was a little too bland for my taste.

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant: 3888 Main Street, Vancouver: 604.872.8822; 102, 4940 No. 3 Road, Richmond: 604.273.8208 ; Lunch: 10:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: 5:00pm - 10:30pm, 7 days a week. Dinner $30 (no crab); $40 (with crab).

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