Fancy eating like a king this Friday? Chow down on Snow Crab, a treat once reserved only for the Korean royal family. Crab season runs from November to May, but right now is the best time to try it in Korea, as a huge festival is held in April to celebrate the leggy crustaceans.

The festival is held in Yeongdeok, a harbour town in North Gyeongsang province on the East coast. It’s here you will find the freshest Snow Crab, known locally as daege. Dae is Korean for bamboo, which is what the Snow Crab’s limbs resemble.

Yeongdeok Snow Crab is full of meat with a chewy texture, and there are three key dishes that restaurants in the area serve up: steamed whole daege; boiled in a spicy soup called daege tang; or mixed with steamed rice in gettakji-bap.

If you’d like to try cooking some snow crab of your own but don’t know where to get them, this online site has them for £25 a kilo. Or, see if your local supermarket has any pre-cut and marinated crab to help you make your own daege tang. There’s a simple and well-illustrated recipe by a Korean-American blogger here.

The slightly pricier option is to make it to Korea to the Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival, where you can try all the variations of Snow Crab on offer, cook up some of your own dishes, ride out in a fishing boat, and see an auction for the plumpest, still scuttling, crabs. The festival’s on April 2-5 this year. Check out the website here.

Have you tried any of these Snow Crab dishes or been to the festival? Let us know what you thought!


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.