Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21: Sweet, Spicy, and Tropical: Crab Salad Lettuce Wraps

1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 rounded tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 mango, peeled and diced
5 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
   Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, plain yogurt, or sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 pound lump crabmeat, cleaned of bits of shell and cartilage
   Bibb or iceberg lettuce, for wrapping

In a small sauce pot, combine the hot peppers, sugar, and vinegar. Place over high heat and bring up to a simmer, then turn it off. Stir to ensure the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to cool. Add the mangoes, radishes, celery, red onions, lime juice, mayonnaise, cilantro, and parsley.

Stir to combine. Gently fold in the crabmeat.

To serve, pile the crab salad in lettuce leaves. 

Roll the leaves around the crab salad to encase it.


These lettuce wraps hit the spot. There was barely any cooking involved, and it was light and refreshing. I made this recipe last year and I didn't like it at all. I think you have to make it just right or it won't turn out how it's supposed to be. The recipe calls to cook the peppers in 2 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. That makes the end result turn out very watery. I just omitted the water and it tasted fine. I reduced the sugar to 1 tablespoon (because I'm watching my sugar), and it probably helped. I tried to evaporate the liquid a little more by cooking it a minute longer.

Here is how I made mine so it came out right. I used 1/2 a jalapeno pepper, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar. I cooked them up for a minute then let them cool in a mixing bowl (in the freezer) for a minute. I added half a mango, 5 radishes, half a very small red onion, 1 celery rib, cilantro, parsley, lime juice, mayo (as called for), and 12 ounces of imitation crabmeat. Then I wrapped them in iceberg lettuce. It was really good.

Last year, I think I used cider vinegar... I am allergic to mango peels, so I used peaches (mistake), I skipped the lime, and I used canned crabmeat... not the lump kind. All of those substitutions made for a really bad tasting, watery wrap.

1 comment:

  1. I always figure that if I want to taste the recipe the way the author intended it, I ought to use the exact ingredients and the exact proportions. Your tweaks to reduce wateriness must have made a good difference for you. :^)