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Mud Crab Masala

I have never cooked mud crab before. I usually worked with sea crabs in stir fried and grilled dish in my Thai kitchen. When I found giant mud crabs in fish market, I was so tempting to try them.

My husband was quite nervous when we bought them home considering they were still moving and crawling in the bag. But I was really confident dealing with them as I was trained to handle seafood and shellfish since I was a kid.

Cleaning and cutting crabs could become a gruesome business especially if they are still alive. I first washed the crabs in running water and put them to sleep by keeping them in refrigerator for 5 minutes. After they stop moving, remove the big claws and separate the shell from the body. Cut the crab in halves and keep aside.

Crab Masala or stir fried crab in spiced sauce is simple and easy. The smell of spices makes your home smell wonderful and fresh tomato puree adds a fresh tangy taste to the dish. When steamed cooked crab meat in the shell comes into contact with this aromatic sauce, it turns the dish into the exquisite bite.

Mud Crab Masala

Ingredients: (3-4 servings)

3 large mud crabs (about 750 gm)

1 1/2 onion- chopped

3 large tomatoes- pureed

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 stalk lemon grass- sliced and roughly bruised

1 1/2 tsp garam masala (Indian spices mix, available in Asian Grocer)

3/4 cup vegetable or fish stock

1 tsp salt or to taste

1 tbsp oil


Heat oil in the pan over the medium heat.

Sautรฉ onion until soften and translucent.

Add garlic, ginger and lemon grass. Stir fry the further for few minute or until fragrant.

Add garam masala and stir further for another 1 minute.

Add fresh tomato puree and cooked further for 5 minutes or until the tomato cooked and the oil rise to the surface.

Add stock and bring to boil.

Add crabs, salt and gently stir. Cook with cover for few minutes and stir fry further in the open pan for 2 minutes.

Check if the crab is done by cracking one of the big claws.

Check the seasoning and serve hot with some cooked rice.

Yaseen was scared of crabs when he saw them in the kitchen sink, but when they were at the lunch table he absolutely loved them. The meat was sweet and tender and the masala sauce was perfectly spiced and seasoned. It was fun cracking the claws and legs for the meat. Finally everything on the table was wiped clean except the piles of shells next to our plates.ย 

Have you ever tried cooking crab? Whatโ€™s your favorite crab recipe?

Have a nice day,

20 comments to Mud Crab Masala

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