For readers who have never seen or heard about the Tasmanian Giant Crab, it is one of the largest crabs in the world, found in the southern waters of Australia. Also referred to as the giant deepwater crab, queen crab or giant southern crab, it can grow to a weight of 13 kilograms with a shell width of nearly 50 centimetres. That's a massive crab! In 2012, a 7 kilogram juvenile named "Claude" was caught and sold as an aquarium feature to Sea Life Centre in Dorset, UK for AUD4,700.
The first time I laid my eyes on one of these giants was 1990, in a Hong Kong-style restaurant in Singapore where the waiters wheeled out a monstrous 10 kilogram, 8 legged crustacean with claws the size of a man's arm on a steel trolley for another customer. My order was only half of that at 5 kilograms. I remember the Singapore restaurant was touting the Tasmanian resident as the Alaskan King Crab then, but I have come to know better after visiting the source in Australia.
Today, the Tasmanian giant crab is shipped live to seafood restaurants in Asia especially Hong Kong as well as in Australia. A excellent place to meet tanks of these creamy white giants splashed with orange-red hues is not at an aquarium but at Cantonese restaurants like Ming Palace on the Gold Coast. However, you'll not find this giant in Aussie seafood shops like Windsor in New South Wales or Cicerello's in Fremantle, Perth.
If you're yearning for a taste, gather a group of crab-loving friends and family members before attempting this giant. With prices averaging AUD100 per kilogram, find a Cantonese restaurant with a track record of dishing out wicked ginger and shallot or salt and pepper renditions of the chunky, juicy and succulent white flesh. Just remember to stay away from the salt water flavoured roe. For a smaller and more affordable option, there's always the Snow Crab.