Crab Species 4: Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani


Japanese Mitten Crab or Mokuzugani i Japanese is also called Mokuzou, Zugani, Tsugani or Kegani.
It caught alsmost everywhere in Japan in Autumn and Winter.
In Autumn the females come to lay their eggs at river mouths.
Plenty are found along the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
They are caught in boxes baited with fish.

As for food, they can be eaten boiled in soups or crushed with their shell and cooked with miso. They could even be prepared as French bisque.


The female specimens are particularly appreciated for their egg sacs.


These boiled egg sacs with the meat make for delicious sushi nigiri or gunkan!

4 thoughts on “Crab Species 4: Japanese Mitten Crab/Mokuzugani”

  1. Hi Robert, this seems to be the same species as the mitten crabs residing in the Thames River in England and the Shanghai crabs too. Too similar to not be the same i feel. What do you make of this? 🙂

    1. There are two different species, Eriocheir japonica is native to Japan. The Shanghai hairy crab is Eriocheir sinensis, this is the one that is an invasive species in Britain. They grow a bit larger than their Japanese cousins. Both are edible!

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Why may Shizuoka people be justified in assuming they eat some of the best in Japan?

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