Dungeness Crab Shooters

(Makes 20 shooters – Recipe courtesy of Chef Carlos H. Osorio Jr., Blondie’s Plate)

While ambling through the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival grounds in Port Angeles, one booth caught my attention; not for the crab, but for the produce. Kim McDougal, the owner of Blondie’s Plate in neighboring Sequim, was talking excitedly to a visitor about finger limes. Finger limes excite me, too. This citrus caviar, as Kim described it, is a delight to feel on the tongue, with the gentlest of bites bursting the tiny pearls and flooding the mouth with bracing acidity. Kim then touted how wonderful this native Australian fruit paired with the local Dungeness crab. It was then I noticed dozens of 1-ounce plastic cups filled with a single bite of shredded crab topped with an amazing variety of produce and condiments.

Kim wasn’t showcasing the pure flavor of Dungeness crab, but its incredible versatility. Finger lime, ginger-wasabi aioli, pickled cucumbers and carrots were just a few fun ingredients that I never thought would complement Dungeness crab, yet did so fabulously.


2 pounds Dungeness crab meat, cooked and finger shredded

Bloody Mary and Celery

1 celery stalk with leaves
1 cup tomato juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Tabasco, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground pepper
Giardiniera brine, to taste

Pickled Cucumber and Carrot with Ginger-Wasabi Aioli

1 small cucumber, skin-on, seeds removed, brunoise cut
1 carrot, brunoise cut
2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 egg
1⅓ cups neutral flavored oil, like canola, grapeseed or avocado
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1⅓ teaspoons pickled ginger juice
2 teaspoons pickled Ginger
Wasabi powder, to taste

Finger Lime with Citronette and Cilantro

⅔ cup lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1½ tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons dry tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 finger limes, sliced in half on a bias
2 sprigs fresh cilantro


Place 1½ to 2 ounces of crab meat in a shot glass, or any small vessel you want to serve the bite from. Top each portion with one of the following condiments. (You will have left-over toppings).

Bloody Mary and Celery

Remove the celery leaves and chiffonade. Mince the celery stalk and set aside.

Whisk the remainder of the ingredients together—this will be the Bloody Mary mix. Pour just one-half ounce of mix into each shot glass, and reserve the rest for a real Bloody Mary. Top each shooter with a bit of the celery stalk and leaves.

Pickled Cucumber and Carrot with Ginger-Wasabi Aioli

Place equal parts of the finely diced cucumber and carrot in a bowl. Mix well and cover with rice wine vinegar. Allow the veggies to pickle for at least 24 hours.

In a food processor, puree the egg and Dijon mustard for 1 minute.  Slowly drizzle in the oil with the processor running. As the mixture starts to thicken and resemble mayonnaise, slowly incorporate the pickled ginger juice and the pickled ginger. (If the mixture seems too thick, you can adjust with warm water and/or pickled ginger juice, depending on your taste.) At this time, slowly incorporate the wasabi powder to your personal taste.

Spoon one-half teaspoon of the pickled cucumber and carrot brunoise onto the crab, and top with a dollop of ginger-wasabi aioli.

Finger Lime with Citronette and Cilantro

For the citronette, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, vinegar, tarragon, salt and pepper. Give the crab in each shot glass a squirt of the citronette.

Gently squeeze each half of the finger lime until the fruit pearls just begin to ooze out. Top each shooter with one piece of finger lime and a single, freshly picked cilantro leaf.