Jonathan Waxman’s Dungeness Crab Tacos, as seen on Guy's Ranch Kitchen Season 6.
Recipe courtesy of Jonathan Waxman

Dungeness Crab Tacos

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 8 servings


Hazelnut Salsa:

Crab Cakes:




Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer; a deep-fryer; taco-frying tongs
  1. For the hazelnut salsa: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add all the chiles and garlic cloves. Cook until tender and just starting to toast, about 2 minutes. Add the hazelnuts, sesame seeds, vinegar and sugar and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add everything to a blender and puree until sauce-like.
  2. For the crab cakes: Combine the crab, mayo, 2 tablespoons hazelnut salsa and 1 ounce cornmeal in a bowl. Form into 8 rectangular crab cakes that will fit into tacos. Dust with additional cornmeal and set aside. Dust the Fresno chile slices and asparagus with cornmeal and reserve.
  3. For the guacamole: Combine the onions, cilantro, jalapeños and sea salt to taste in a bowl. Mash together, then add lime juice to taste. Mash the avocados in a bowl, then add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Add to the onion-cilantro mixture.
  4. For the tacos: Heat 1/2-inch oil in a cast-iron skillet until 225 degrees F and preheat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
  5. Fry the tortillas in a taco shape in the deep-fryer using taco-frying tongs. Set aside on a paper towel-lined sheet tray and repeat as needed. Deep-fry the Fresno chiles and asparagus until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Cook the crab cakes in the skillet until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat as needed.
  7. Top each crab cake in a taco shell with 1 ounce salsa, 1/2 ounce guacamole, then the Fresno chile chips, asparagus, almonds and sesame seeds.