Pickled Crab with Apple-Shallot Relish

Pickled Crab with Apple-Shallot Relish

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.

Pickled Crab with Apple-Shallot Relish | Sitka Salmon Shares

Prep time: 40 min
Total time: 40 min
Serves: 4


  • 2 Dungeness crab clusters, thawed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grainy mustard, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely diced honeycrisp apple, with skin
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 10 slices cocktail rye bread or lightly toasted baguette slices


Pickle 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. 

Make 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.


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.

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

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.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Add a dollop of créme fraîche for added richness.

Change it Up

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

Lighten it Up

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


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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