Back to all recipes

Pickled Crab with Apple-Shallot Relish

  • Entertaining
  • Dungeness
  • Appetizer
  • Steam
  • Grace Parisi
  • 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 delivery of halibut and sockeye portions
Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions

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.


Full Bleed Hero
Full Bleed Hero