This elegant crab tartare is deliciously bright and flavorful and shines with fresh ingredients including pre-cooked Dungeness crab, avocado, garlic and lime juice. Plus, it's a quick and easy appetizer that looks and tastes amazing.
With Dungeness crab season here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, we got the perfect appetizer to celebrate. This elegant Dungeness crab tartare, made with pre-cooked crab, is bright and flavorful, light and simple, and a perfect appetizer for crab lovers.
This crab tartare is made with the freshest ingredients including pre-cooked Dungeness crab, avocado, shallots, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice.
While most tartare dishes include raw meat, we play it safe here by using pre-cooked Dungeness crab. However, we make sure to purchase fresh, pre-cooked Dungeness crab when in season.
It's a light seafood appetizer that can be served alone, with tortilla chips (we recommend these lighter low-carb tortilla chips), pita chips (see our low-carb home-made version here) or cucumber rounds.
This delicious crab tartare is a perfect appetizer for the holidays or whenever crab is in season!
What is Tartare?
Tartare is often prepared with raw meat or seafood that is finely chopped and lightly flavored and set in a round mold. The most well-known tartare is steak tartare, which is made with raw minced beef, seasonings, shallots or other flavorings. Most raw seafood tartare dishes are prepared in a similar manner using the freshest ingredients. Tartare is often served cold with chips or veggies for scooping and serving.
However, tartare doesn't have to be made with raw meat or seafood. New varieties continue to pop up, including tomato tartare, lentil tartare, and other veggie-related tartare dishes.
Since it can be risky to eat raw crab, we use pre-cooked Dungeness crab in this tartare, which we buy fresh from our our local fish monger.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Pre-cooked Dungeness crab meat: We buy in-season, pre-cooked Dungeness crab since it's the easiest and safest way to go with this tartare. But, it doesn't have to be Dungeness crab, it can be another type, such as Blue — as long as it's fresh, pre-cooked and shredded into smaller pieces (which we simply do by hand).
Avocado: Fresh avocado goes so well with the crab in this tartare. Another option is diced cucumber if you don't like avocado.
Shallots: Shallots are typically used in tartare, but you could also use a sweet onion or even a red onion that is finely diced.
Jalapeno: Diced jalapeno adds a little kick, but not too much. If you're looking for more spice, you can use up to a tablespoon or more. If you don't have fresh jalapenos, you could use pickled jalapenos or another spicy pepper of choice.
Garlic: Fresh garlic adds flavor to this tartare. We use two cloves, minced. But you could use more or less as desired.
Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is a must since it freshens the tartare. If you don't have a lime, you could use a lemon in a pinch.
Cilantro (optional): Fresh cilantro pairs so well with the crab tartare. But if you don't like, you can skip or add another fresh herb of choice.
How to Make
STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice and olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
STEP 2: Dice avocado and mince garlic, jalapeno, and shallot. With your hands, shred crab into small pieces.
STEP 3: In a large bowl, gently toss all the ingredients (and cilantro if using) together until combined. To serve as a mold, use a store-bought circular mold, ramekin, or a small glass and pack with the crab tartare and place on a small serving plate. If using a ramekin or glass, you'll pack it with the tartare and then flip it onto the small serving plate.
STEP 4: Garnish with additional cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, pita chips or cucumber rounds.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Dungeness Crab Tartare
- 6 ounces pre-cooked Dungeness crab meat, chilled
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ an avocado, diced
- 2 teaspoons shallot, minced
- 2 teaspoons jalapeno, minced
- salt and pepper to season
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Make dressing: In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice and olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare ingredients: Dice avocado and mince garlic, jalapeno, and shallot. With your hands, shred crab into small pieces.
- Combine and plate: In a large bowl, gently toss all the ingredients (and cilantro if using) together until combined. To serve as a mold, use a store-bought circular mold, ramekin, or a small glass and pack with the crab tartare and place on a small serving plate. If using a ramekin or glass, you'll pack it with the tartare and then flip it onto the small serving plate.
- Serve: Garnish with additional cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, pita chips or cucumber rounds.