I recently saw this recipe for Thai Crab and Watermelon Salad on The Cilantropist’s blog which turns out was actually a guest post by Joylicious. Whew! I am getting tired trying to convey the origins of this salad, but I definitely want to give credit where credit is due here.
Crab and watermelon….watermelon and crab. These thoughts kept rolling around in my head while I tried to decide if I would actually like two of my favorite ingredients together. Here in the Puget Sound, we have ready access to the best crab available…Dungess just about anytime we want it. As a matter of fact, just down the street from my office there is a seafood guy who sets up shop this time of year with local, fresh seafood. The best part? He does it right in front of the produce stand!! Bonus for me.
Yesterday, after mulling this salad over all day, I finally decided to give it a try. My husband is funny about food. When we were first married, he wouldn’t touch seafood and was a pretty picky eater. Over the years, he palate has expanded far past my wildest hopes, but sometimes I still have to “surprise” him with certain foods. If he has a chance to think about it, he might decide he won’t like it before he gives it a try and I knew this was going to be one of those dishes.
Since I find it almost genetically impossible to make a recipe exactly the way it is written (this may be why I am not such a great cake baker??) , I thought it would benefit from the addition of grapefruit and avocado, two ingredients I love with crab. Also, I couldn’t put my hands on lemongrass or Thai chiles, so what you have here doesn’t much resemble the original, but suited my tastes perfectly.
My husand’s verdict? Definitely a keeper!
Crab, Watermelon & Avocado Salad
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium Juice of one medium lemon
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups Meat of one large Dungess Crab
- 1 jalepeno chile, sliced
- 1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 medium Juice of one lime
- 2 tbsp. Asian fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. water
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (coarsely chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint (coarsely chopped)
- about 2 cups total 1 medium seedless watermelon - cut into rounds
- 1 large sweet grapefruit - sliced and cut into rounds (use varying sizes)
- 1 - 2 ripe avocados - scooped into small balls
- Mix crab, olive oil, lemon and salt & pepper in bowl and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Next, make the dressing. In a small food processor, combine the chiles, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and water and pulse until everything is finely chopped and well mixed. Taste and add salt & pepper as necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cut the watermelon into slices approximately 1/2\" thick, then cut into large, medium & small rounds. Set aside.
- Cut grapefruit into very thin slices, then cut into medium rounds. Set aside.
- Using a small melon baller, scoop balls out balls of avocado and set aside with watermelon & grapefruit.
- To assemble the salad, arrange the watermelon rounds and grapefruit rounds decoratively on each plate. Mound crab on top of fruit and then tuck in 4-5 avocado balls around plate. Pour dressing over crab and then sprinkle cilantro & mint over the top and around plate.