This king crab salad is a delicious seafood salad served with grilled crab, creamy avocado dressing, boiled eggs, and mixed greens.
Have you tried King crab yet?
To me, these crawly sea monsters do NOT appear edible, and quite honestly are a little scary-looking, but I’m extremely grateful to whoever figured out that they make a fabulous dinner!
Today we’re cooking with legs from red King crab, a crab that can grow up to 5 feet in length and golden (or brown) King crab, its slightly smaller relative.
I’ll walk you through how to open up the crab legs (even without a crab cracker!), and how to make a healthy and delicious King crab salad.
Buying King Crab Legs
What should you look for when you’re buying king crab legs?
For the most part, king crab is harvested off the Alaskan and Norwegian coastlines in the Barents Sea, and is considered a highly sustainably-sourced seafood.
King crab legs will almost always be sold frozen and precooked.
Red King Vs. Golden King Crab
For this recipe, use either (or both) red king crab legs or golden (brown) king crab legs.
What’s the difference?
The flavor is slightly different– some people claim red king crab is sweeter, and some claim that golden king crab is sweeter. The meat is interchangeable in this recipe, so use whichever you prefer!
How to Grill King Crab Legs
Grilling king crab legs is pretty straightforward– simply get your grill hot, brush the legs with oil, and set them on the grill in a single layer.
If you’ve let the frozen legs thaw, you’ll grill them for about 4 minutes, and if they’re still frozen, grill them for about 10 minutes. Use grill tongs to turn them about halfway through the grill time.
Want more tips about how to grill seafood? Check out this post on How to Grill Fish!
Can I Steam the Crab Legs Instead?
You sure can!
Cracking King Crab Legs
There are lots of different techniques to crack open crab legs. Here’s how I do it.
First, cut the crab legs apart at each joint.
Cut off the shoulder meat (but don’t throw it away!), and pull out the long plastic-like cartilage strips.
Once the shells are open, remove the meat. Hold onto the shells to make homemade seafood stock.
Need more help cracking the crab shells? Check out my tutorial on how to crack crab legs.
How to Make Grilled King Crab Salad
Once you’ve grilled the king crab legs and removed the meat, go ahead and start assembling your salad.
You’ll need lettuce (I like to use a spinach and romaine mixture), some boiled eggs, diced tomato, and a few lime wedges on the side.
For the avocado dressing, simply blend together an avocado, a little yogurt, and some lime juice.
Top the salad with the crab meat, and serve this salad at home, at a picnic, or wherever your crab-loving friends will be!
King Crab Recipe: Crab Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 lb King Crab Legs (*See Recipe Notes)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 4 oz fresh spinach
- 1 Romaine heart, roughly chopped
- 4 boiled eggs (or more if desired), halved
- 1 large tomato, diced (or more if desired)
- 2 limes, quartered
Creamy Avocado Dressing:
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush legs with olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Place crab legs on grill in a single layer, and grill 4-5 minutes total for thawed crab legs or 10-11 minutes total for frozen legs. Flip legs about halfway through grill time.
Removing Crab Meat:
- Use a crab cracker to remove crab meat from shells, or use a chef’s knife and kitchen shears. (Check the Recipe Notes for a tutorial link.)
Creamy Avocado Dressing:
- Add avocado, yogurt, lime juice, and salt to a blender basin. Blend until creamy. (This dressing is thick, allowing it to work as both a dressing and a sauce to dip the crab into. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add more lime juice.)
Assemble the Salad:
- Toss together the romaine hearts and spinach. Use the lettuce as a base for the salad, and then add the tomatoes, boiled eggs, and crab. Serve with limes and the avocado dressing.