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Pickled Crab with Apple-Shallot Relish

  • Entertaining
  • Dungeness
  • Appetizer
  • Steam
  • Active Time:40 min
  • Total Time:40 min
  • Servings:4
  • Difficulty:Intermediate
Photo by Julia Gartland

Sweet Dungeness crab is marinated in a quick dressing, topped with a crunchy apple-shallot mixture, and served on little slices of bread spread with mustardy mayo. Don’t forget to save the shells! They make a killer stock.


  • 2 Dungeness crab clusters, thawed Available In Our Premium Subscription Box

  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons grainy mustard, divided

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ cup finely diced honeycrisp apple, with skin

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 10 slices cocktail rye bread or lightly toasted baguette slices


Pickle the Crab

Fill a medium pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add crab, cover, and steam until thawed, about 5 minutes (crab is already cooked). Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle. Crack the shells and pick out the crabmeat (about 1 c). Tear crab into bite size pieces and transfer to a bowl. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of the mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Fold in the crabmeat and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Prepare the Toppings

In a small bowl, combine apple, shallot, dill, and lemon juice and zest, and season with salt and pepper. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and remaining 1 tablespoon mustard.

Assemble Toasts

Spread mayonnaise mixture onto bread and top with pickled crab. Top with relish and serve.

Note: Reserve the crab shells and steaming liquid separately for stock. Both freeze well for later use.

Premium Seafood Subscription Box

$159 / box 4.5 lbs

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

A dry cider fits the laid-back, easy appetizer energy of these tiny toasts. Bubbles bring a bit of acidity, which complements both the crab and the tart and tangy apple-shallot relish.

Change It Up

Combine any leftover crab and relish with a touch of mayonnaise and serve in lettuce cups for a light and refreshing lunch.

Lighten It Up

For a lower carb or gluten free alternative, swap cucumber or apple slices for the bread.

Level it Up

Add a dollop of créme fraîche for added richness.