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Quick & Easy King Crab Tacos with Chipotle Sauce

The quickest and easiest way to use leftover Alaska King Crab meat that will have your friends & family drooling. Make your next “Taco Tuesday” the best ever.

king crab, pico de gallo and chipotle cream sauce on a round white plate.

No Taco Shell Required

These healthier “deconstructed tacos” don’t need to be in a shell. They are so quick, easy and a great way to use leftover king crab.  It’s a taco that is basically inside out. There’s no shell to fill, but there’s still corn tortillas – you can make your own, or buy your favorite brand in a bag. You’ll also want to grab a fork because it’s not really finger food.  

What was my inspiration?

While in Juneau, Alaska for a food conference I went on a Taste of Juneau Tour – which I highly recommend. Part of the tour took us to a Food Truck Food Court. While all the food was great, my favorite was this non-breaded king crab taco from El Agave. Read more about Juneau, Alaska in my articles Things to eat in Juneau, Alaska and Things to do in Juneau Alaska and then book your trip.

crab taco with pico de gallo, lettuce and shredded cheese in a flour tortilla .
This non-breaded Alaskan king crab taco from El Agave in Juneau, Alaska inspired me to make my king crab taco.

How to cook Alaskan King Crab Legs

There are several quick and easy ways to cook crab legs, but my favorite way is to thaw them in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours or overnight and then boil them for about 4-6 minutes. Alaskan king crab legs are already cooked then frozen, so when you buy them, you just need to heat them up before serving. 

Alaskan King Crab legs and two ears of corn cooking in a large pot. There's a nutcracker who looks like a chef in the foreground.
We like to make food you can eat with your hands when eating King Crab. Corn and crab both taste great with butter, so it’s a no brainer.

What to do with leftover king crab?

We usually just dip the crab meat in butter and I serve it with corn-on-the-cob with more butter and some other veggie. I had leftover crab meat and left over corn-on-the-cob and I just wanted to use the leftovers to make something different than what we had eaten the night before. Viola..I created this mouthwatering recipe for these Quick & Easy King Crab Tacos that are to die for.   

 

Can I substitute canned crab meat for these tacos?

You can, but it won’t taste as good (in my opinion). Alaskan King Crab is not the same as the canned crab you normally see in your local grocery store and therefore will not taste the same. You can buy King Crab online at Alaskan King Crab Co. Sometimes I find it at my local grocery store or at Costco.

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Small round soft corn tortillas partially sliced to 1/8" thick strips laying on a wood cutting bored with a chef knife.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut corn tortillas into 1/8” strips, toss with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (they should be very lightly coated). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they crisp up. *You can skip this step and use pre-made crispy tortilla chips from a bag if you wish – I just like they way these look and taste…  Crunchy good!
1/8" strips of soft corn tortillas spread out on a small sheet pan.
I like to bake these in a toaster oven because it uses less energy and heats up faster.

Hands using a chef knife to cut corn off of the cob.

Cut corn from cob, place in a bowl, cover and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, cut up the rest of your ingredients for the pico de gallo (onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro). Add the corn, to the pico de gallo and season with salt pepper and lime juice. *You can also use frozen corn, to save time or skip cooking the raw corn on the cob entirely. It is safe to eat raw corn.

Pico de gallo made of chopped tomatoes, onions, jalepenos, cilantro, yellow corn and lime juice in a round white bowl.

Mix the sour cream, chipotle chili powder and 1 tablespoon of lime juice for the chipotle cream sauce and set aside.

One lime, green glass juicer and a white round bowl sitting on a granite counter.

Melt butter and mix with shelled king crab meat. If you want the crab meat warm, cover and heat it in a microwave for 20 seconds at a time until it’s warm.
Alaskan King Crab with a small white bowl of melted butter on a wood cutting board.
Sharp white cheddar cheese being grated with a box grater on a wood cutting board.
Grate the sharp white cheddar.
king crab, pico de gallo and chipotle cream sauce on a round white plate. There's a nutcracker in the foreground that looks like a chef.
To plate, place some of the chipotle cream sauce on a plate, place 1/2 cup (1/4 pound) of crab meat on the plate. *I packed a 1/2 measuring cup and flipped that over onto my plate. Place some pico de gallo on top of the crab, then 1/3 of the white cheddar cheese and then top it with the crispy tortilla strips.

Quick & Easy King Crab Tacos with Chipotle Sauce

Total Time25 mins
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Keyword: Chipotle, Cinco de Mayo, Crab, Dinner, Homemade, Quick and Easy, Taco Tuesday, Tex Mex
Servings: 3 Servings

Ingredients

  • 12 Ounces Alaskan King Crab Meat (cooked and shelled)
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 1/2 Cup Sharp White Cheddar (shredded)
  • 3 Small Corn Tortillas (4.5 inches) (street taco size, cut into 1/8” strips)

Pico de gallo

  • 1/4 Cup Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Jalapeño
  • 1/2 Cup Corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro (fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream (whole fat)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice (fresh squeezed)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut corn tortillas into 1/8” strips, toss with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (they should be very lightly coated). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they crisp up. *You can skip this step and use pre-made crispy tortilla chips from a bag if you wish – I just like they way these look.
  • Cut corn from cob, place in a bowl, cover and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, cut up the rest of your ingredients for the pico de gallo (onions, tomatoes, jalepenos, cilantro). Add the corn, to the pico de gallo and season with salt pepper and lime juice. *You can also use frozen corn, to save time or skip cooking the raw corn on the cob entirely. It is safe to eat raw corn.
  • Mix the sour cream, chipotle chili powder and 1 tablespoon of lime juice for the chipotle cream sauce and set aside.
  • Melt butter and mix with shelled king crab meat. If you want the crab meat warm, cover and heat it in a microwave for 20 seconds at a time until it’s warm.
  • To plate, place some of the chipotle cream sauce on a plate, place 1/2 cup (1/4 pound) of crab meat on the plate. *I packed a 1/2 cup measuring cup and flipped that over onto my plate. Place some pico de gallo on top of the crab, then 1/3 of the white cheddar cheese and then top it with the crispy tortilla strips.

Some other mains, sides and a cocktail you might like.

Grilled sweet potatoes, asparagus & pork tenderloin

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin

Cinco de Mayo dinner

Easiest Chicken Quesadillas

halibut fish tacos

Halibut Fish Tacos

guacamole with tortilla chip

Chunky Fresh Guacamole (no pit in the bowl ever again)

pulled pork street tacos

Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos

Bitter Salty Perro

A Drink Better than a Margarita

Summer Slaw

Sweet & Spicy Mango & Jalapeño Slaw

 

 

 

 


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