Kegani, or Fresh Horsehair Crab, is caught wild/tennen in the waters of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. They come from the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, and are smaller than other popular crab species. This size results in a compactness inside that gives a dense meat with a firm texture. This meat is sweet and delicious, and the crab’s roe (kani-miso) is flavorful, with bursts of umami.
The best way to enjoy Kegani is to boil it in salt water, to really bring out its rich flavor. You may stop there, and eat it as is. Or you can brush it with some nori butter after boiling, and grill it. Pair with some quality sake.
Horsehair crabs, or Kegani, are found and caught primarily in the surrounding waters of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. They arrive midway through winter, when ryuhyo—large swaths of sea ice, are pushed by winds and water currents toward Hokkaido from the Sea of Okhotsk. It’s a visual spectacle, one that attracts both tourists and crab fishermen to the coast. The crabs store nutrients within the ice, and they bring it with them as they migrate. When it warms and the ice breaks, the crabs go into shallower waters.
For longer storage, place the box container, with all its contents intact, inside your refrigerator or cooler at (1- 4 C). Cook and consume your Kegani immediately to ensure the best taste.