Going local

Ministry Of Crab puts Thai mud crabs on the menu

No matter where in the world, if you’re dining at a Ministry Of Crab branch you’ve always eaten the famous Sri Lankan crab. The ongoing pandemic, however, has changed that.

“Covid thought all of us a lesson. Imported produce got expensive, especially airfreight. As long as local produce meets our criteria we will use it and the Thai mud crabs do,” says executive chef and co-owner of Ministry Of Crab Bangkok, Dharshan Munidasa. “These amazing crustaceans are available in the market ranging from 500-900g and they come from the mangroves of Samut Songkhram. The only problem is that it is difficult to find a Thai mud crab that weighs more than a kilogramme,” he adds.

This is why the Thai mud crabs are only available in half a kilogramme, small, medium and large sizes. “The bigger sized crabs, ranging from 900g to the mammoth 2kg “Crabzilla” will be sourced as usual from the mangroves of Sri Lanka,” adds chef Munidasa.

The Sri Lankan mud crab claimed global fame when it was exported to Singapore and was used in creating one of their national dishes — the chilli crab. The Thai mud crabs are sweet and delicious, and are the perfect counterpart for the Sri Lankan Crab on the Bangkok menu. Prices, at the restaurant on Sukhumvit 31, begin at B800 for ½kg Thai mud crabs — depending on the size of the crab and where it is sourced from.

Prepared in a variety of signature dishes from the fiery pepper sauce in the Pepper Crab, which pairs the sweetness of the crab with the heat of hand-crushed Sri Lankan peppercorns and pepper stock, to the mouthwatering Garlic chilli crab where chef Munidasa’s Sri Lankan and Japanese roots come into play. A Ministry Of Crab original that sees Mediterranean and Japanese food philosophies meet the Sri Lankan crab through a blend of Italian olive oil, garlic, Sri Lankan chilli flakes and Japanese soy sauce. “A respect for ingredients is paramount in my kitchen and we have a strict no-freezer policy and serve all our seafood in its freshest form,” says chef Munidasa.

Try the Clay Pot Prawn Curry for half a kilo of two varieties of prawn served in a medley of delicate spices with kade bread (“kade” meaning “shop” in Sinhala and refers to a shop that makes rustic wood-fired bread) to mop up all the flavours. To finish off the meal on a sweet note, get the Coconut crème brûlée, a tropical twist on a French classic that’s baked in a coconut shell. Visit ministryofcrab.com/bangkok.

From left: Executive chef and co-owner of Ministry Of Crab Bangkok, Dharshan Munidasa; Pol sambol with Maldivian fish.

From left: The menu showcases the freshest seafood; Pepper crab.

From left: Garlic chilli crab; Thai mud crabs.

Clams with butter and soy sauce.