I grew up in a hamburger meat family. When we ate seafood, it came from either Long John Silver’s or Red Lobster. And Tex-Mex restaurants back in the day? Forget about it! If you wanted something other than beef or cheese enchiladas, you were out of luck. But times have changed.
I was in my early 20s before my taste buds were treated to crab, and I’ve never looked back. Though I enjoy almost anything that was born and raised in the ocean, crab is one of my favorites. It’s natural sweetness is perfect in a taco — especially when the same bite includes the zing of chiles, the crunch of fried corn tortilla and fresh cabbage & carrot, and the smooth buttery flavor and consistency of avocado. Top it with a little tomato salsa and a dollop of tangy Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise (easy recipe below), and this is truly a bueno culinary experience.
Fried Crab Tacos
(Tacos Dorados con carne de cangrejo)
1/2 lb – Crab meat, picked and cleaned
2 tsp – Chile powder
1 – Avocado, sliced
1/4 cup – Fresh Cilantro leaves
About 1 cup – Shredded cabbage & carrots (cole slaw mix)
6 – Corn tortillas
Vegetable oil, for frying
Your favorite red salsa
Sprinkle chile powder on crab meat; combine and set aside. In a small skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil over medium-to-medium high heat. (You might want to test a tortilla or two to make sure oil is hot enough — they should begin sizzling as soon as you place them in the oil.) — Place tortilla in hot oil. With tongs, lift up one end and fold it over. When bottom side is nicely browned (about 15 seconds) turn the tortilla over. (You might want to use the tongs and keep the top side lifted, so as to give yourself plenty of room to stuff the final product.) Place fried taco shells on paper plate or paper towel-line plate to drain excess oil.
Stuff the tacos in this order:
- a generous pinch of cabbage/carrot mixture
- a few cilantro leaves
- avocado slice (on one side or the other)
- about 1/4 cup of crab meat
Top with crumbled queso fresco and salsa. Also top with (or use as a taco ‘dip’) Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise.
This recipe makes six Fried Crab Tacos.
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
1/2 cup – Mayonnaise
2 TB – Cilantro, chopped finely
Juice from one small lime
Combine all ingredients. Let sit for at least a few hours, if possible.