Kyoto by the Sea Winter Cuisine ーKoppedon~ Female Snow Crab Topped Rice Bowlー

Hi, I’m Maya from Miyazu, Kyoto by the Sea.
In this post, I`d like to introduce a limited time seasonal crab dish that can only be eaten at crab restaurants, Koppedon.  Crab is undoubtedly the king of Japanese winter cuisine!

Koppedon is a rice bowl topped with female snow crab.  These female crabs are generally smaller than their male counterparts causing them to be mainly consumed in the areas where they are caught rather than being shipped out to distant markets.  The rich taste of these crab brains, condensed goodness of the inner eggs, and the addicting gritty texture of the outer eggs has led to many repeating customers.   Many people travel long distances to enjoy this unique type of crab cuisine.
Female Crab fishing is only permitted till the end of December in order to preserve and protect the area`s crab resources.  This means that freshly caught female crabs can only be eaten for a short two month period (early November- late December). These crabs are a special gift from the winter sea.

Today I visited Baikei which is located along the street in front of the front gate of Chionji Temple on the Monju side of Amanohashidate.  Baikei is both a restaurant and inn mainly serving Kaisendon, or raw seafood topped rice bowls and Asaridon (Japanese short-necked clam topped rice bowls).  However, female snow crab topped rice bowls are also served here for a limited time as a seasonal menu item.

“Here in Miyazu, we call these crabs “koppegani” but they are more commonly called “sekogani” in the Kansai region of Japan”, the restaurant owner, Taichi Yamazaki explains.
After glancing at the menu, ordering, and waiting a few minutes; a female snow crab, today`s main dish was brought before me on a tray.  On top of the white rice lay a mountain of neatly prepared crab meat. The vividly orange colored inner eggs covered in crab butter seemed to sparkle.  The dark orange color of the grainy outer eggs is also very appetizing.  The leg meat was arranged neatly piled up tall on top of the rice along with the body meat like a jewelry box! How AMAZING!!
“If you like, try putting this sanbaizu (a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar or sweet rice wine) sauce on top”, the restaurant waitress said serving me the sauce, a smile on her face.
I found myself torn between the desire to devour the food in front of me and the desire to continue to admire it, “mmm…I want to eat it now. But, I have to take a picture…but I want to eat…but it`s too pretty to eat…”
I was conflicted for several seconds but soon lost to the overwhelming desire I felt to eat the crab in front of me and so I popped a spoonful of outer eggs into my mouth.  The rich seafood taste was delicious!!

After having a taste of the rice bowl, I regained control of myself and took a few pictures before eating the rest.  After eating the outer eggs, I proceeded to eat the inner eggs and then the crab meat. My entire mouth was filled with the taste and aroma of crab! It was wonderful! I still feel overwhelmed with happiness when I remember the taste. After enjoying the crab`s natural taste, I tried adding the sanbaizu sauce to spice things up.

The sauce contrasted with the crab taste causing the crab to taste even sweeter and richer than before. It also went perfectly with the white rice.  The crab rice bowl came with miso soup and pickled vegetables but the crab was so delicious that I completely forgot about the side dishes and ate the entire rice bowl without even touching the soup and pickles. It was so good!!

Considering that the rice bowl at Baikei is made with two cups of crab, I`d say that the price is pretty reasonable.  Why don`t you come to Miyazu “Kyoto by the Sea” this winter to try this special seasonal dish!?

Restaurants that serve Koppedon (female snow crab rice bowls):
●Baikei Restaurant  644 Monju, Miyazu  TEL 0772-22-5145
●Zuishouen Restaurant  10 Kokubun, Miyazu  TEL 0772-27-1488

And more! For information about other locations serving Koppedon (female snow crab rice bowls) besides those written above, please inquire at
Tango Tourist Information Center  0772-22-8030(Inside Amanohashidate Terminal Center)

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