A Bite of Innovation: The secret behind the crayfish craze



How crazy are Chinese people over crayfish? According to a recent report released by China Cuisine Association, China’s favorite dish in 2017 was crayfish, and the popular seafood’s market value has exceeded 14 billion US dollars.

Spicy crayfish served at Huda Restaurant.

At a restaurant in Beijing, over 70,000 crayfish are sold every day for the past 10 years. Every night, gastronomers line up for hours just to have a bite of the savory, spicy crayfish that makes Huda Restaurant the place to go whenever people crave for the best crayfish.

Long queue in front of the restaurant.

What is the secret recipe behind the restaurant’s success?

The answer lies in years of continuous innovation by its current owner, Guo Dong. To improve their crayfish’s freshness and taste, Guo and his team invented a set of cleaning tools to make sure the crustaceans’ gills look clean and transparent.

Huda's owner Guo Dong shows the tools invented to improve cleaning process.

The innovation expands to the kitchen as well. Each month, the restaurant holds cuisine contests for chefs, inviting them to come up with new recipe ideas. Every three months, every Huda restaurant unveils a new dish and updates the menu.

The owner is generous in investing in new innovation. “We buy all the good recipes. If it proves unsuccessful, we throw it away. That is how we innovate,” Guo

said. “With the changing tastes of our customers and the ever-lasting competition from other restaurants, we have to keep up with trends to survive.”