Food + Wine

Crab Leg ” Ceviche “

Real quick so I can get back to eating and sunning and drinking before this tropical storm decides to actually be a storm.

Here’s a great shortcut for an authentic ceviche…

Ceviche is a popular Latin American dish where you have an acid- generally citrus juice, lime juice being a popular one- cure raw seafood, therefore ‘cooking’ it, so to speak.  No heat is involved- the acid just breaks down the connective tissue and causes the proteins to denature.  I grew up with it during the summer time and it’s one of my favorite quick party apps to make.  Although there are many, many ways to make ceviche, I’m a big fan of the lime juice, mango, avocado, cilantro, mint kind.

I had some crab leg meat, which was already cooked, so I decided to make a ceviche ‘cheat for today’s cocktail time.  You can do this with any leftover seafood you may have… shrimp, scallops, salmon, tuna… I just wouldn’t want any strong flavor on it.  That’s why having crab leg meat that was steamed was perfect.  It’s super dang darn good, was easy as hell to make, and I don’t give a crap that the seafood wasn’t raw to begin with.

Can I still call it ceviche?  Probably not.

But I can call it “ceviche”.


makes about 4 cups

Break apart 1 pound of cooked crab leg meat to be bite sized pieces (any part of the crab will do, but I like the chunks of the leg meat versus the flakes of the rest).

Place in a bowl and add the following…

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • about 1/4 of an English cucumber, diced 
  • a few TB worth of red onion, minced
  • big handful chopped, fresh cilantro
  • half that amount of chopped, fresh mint leaves
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 2 limes (may need more if they aren’t that juicy)
  • several pinches kosher salt to taste
  • squeeze of agave nectar to taste
  • optional- half a serano or jalapeno pepper, minced (seeds and ribs removed or not- depending on your heat desires)

Mix all of the ingredients together, carefully so you don’t mush the avocado.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary… adding more salt or more lime if it needs it.

Serve immediately or chill, covered and serve within the hour for optimal freshness, texture and taste.

It’s great with corn chips, but also fun with cucumber ‘chips’ if you need to keep it light in that bikini… to save room for the beer, obvi.


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