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Snow Crab Salad with Avocado Grapefruit & Citrus-Ginger Vinaigrette

January 22, 2020

snow crab

How to Make Snow Crab Salad

If you are a seafood lover like we are, you have probably seen many a snow crab salad recipe, but you haven't really had the best if you haven't tried our snow crab salad with avocado, grapefruit, and citrus-ginger vinaigrette. Maybe this combination sounds odd to you, but we promise it will be amazing. Using citrus juices, like grapefruit or lemon, keeps avocado from turning brown, plus it adds a great zing of tanginess that really brings out the subtle, sweet undertones of crab meat. It works well with cooking fresh or cooking frozen snow crab legs.

Avocado also brings a mellow, smooth flavor to this dish, which balances out the acid in the lemon and lime. A great part of this recipe is that you can prepare the vinaigrette up to three days in advance, saving you time on the day you plan to serve this dish. It's easy to adjust to your liking by simply adding more or less of an ingredient, and you won't ruin the flavor or consistency by doing so—so have fun! A little sweet, a little spicy, and a whole lot delicious, we're sure you'll love this recipe. Serves up to four people.

I picked this recipe because it’s classy but easy, and gives you both a chance to sharpen your skills and save a little time compared to some more intensive recipes. It’s also pretty healthy and works with many diets by simply removing any ingredients that break them- which won’t affect the taste or quality at all. And, if I’m honest, it’s got a special place in my heart, which makes me just a little biased! But before we get down to brass tacks, we have to cover some important information.

snow crab

What is a Snow Crab Cluster?

And where does snow crab come from? These were big questions for me at first. I did some research and learned, which I will summarize here for you. These cheeky little crustaceans live in the Northern Pacific, hence their name. A cluster of snow crab legs is the legs from one half of the body and a generous portion of the body meat too. It’s easier to ship and more straightforward for buyers, making them a win-win for everyone. I picked snow crab vs Dungeness crab for the taste, and when I bought, I found the snow crab cluster sizes to be more my speed.

Why Snow Crab?

If you're a regular to the Global Seafoods blog and recipe sections, you've likely noticed how fond we are of crab. The versatility of this sumptuous meat lends itself well to just about every cuisine style. Since crab meat is fairly mild on its own, it's easy to create dishes that either bring out that subtle flavor or that build upon it, creating almost limitless options for any meal.

Salads, soups, stews, pasta dishes, and even just a simple plate loaded with steamed crab legs, every bite will be bliss. Beyond the flavor, texture, and satisfied feeling you get after eating crab, you also get a host of health benefits. For your convenience, I’ve listed the steamed snow crab legs nutrition facts.

Here’s the breakdown:

Great source of lean protein!

There aren’t many calories in snow crab legs, 1 cluster having about 72 calories assuming it’s six ounces. That’s great!

Low unhealthy fats. Being sea life, crab don’t have a bunch of extra fat, and they don’t need it to taste good.

Vitamins and minerals such as selenium and vitamin B12, which can be hard to get elsewhere.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are very difficult to get outside of seafood.

There are no carbs in snow crab legs at all, making them a viable and easy keto diet food.

As you can see, all you can eat snow crab legs are on everyone’s menu. Maybe even a whole pound of snow crab legs!

When I first tried snow crab, I went to the grocery store. I picked up some generic crab that was fine, but not really up to my standards. The problem was that I live far inland so fresh crab is not usually available and the grocery stores don’t freeze their crabs well. I ordered a case of snow crab legs online and found that the shipping was fast, and the food was preserved better. 

It was a little tough to figure out who has snow crab legs on sale in my area, especially because at first I didn’t know what does a snow crab look like and hadn’t seen any pictures of snow crab legs, but online it was easy and I could compare cost to the snow crab legs market price. After I got the legs, I realized I could boil it, steam it, or grill it and eat it as is for a good, easy, healthy meal. But that wasn’t enough. I bought a book with recipes for making crab, and after some time of experimentation with those recipes, I bring you this method for making snow crab salad. Find some snow crab clusters on sale, like ocean choice snow crab clusters, pick them up, and get cooking!

Snow Crab Salad Recipes

To save time on the day you plan to serve this dish, make the vinaigrette ahead of time. It can be stored up to three days in the refrigerator, and it tastes best served cold. The grapefruit can be peeled and segmented a day or two in advance as well, and this is an easy job for kids to help with. Peel, segment, place in a zip-top plastic bag with all the air squeezed out, then store in the refrigerator. For removing the white pith, make sure an adult does this part as it requires a sharp knife. The crab can be prepared up to two days in advance, just store the shredded or chopped meat in an airtight container in the fridge. Ready to learn how to make snow crab salad? Let's start!


2 lbs. Alaska Crab legs (Red King Crab, Snow Crab or Dungeness Crab), thawed if necessary

1 large or 2 small Ruby Red grapefruit

1 head butter lettuce

1 small head Belgian endive

1 avocado

1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional) 


2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon orange juice concentrate

1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon honey

1/3 cup salad oil or light olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

pinch cayenne 


Make the vinaigrette first: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. You can make the vinaigrette up to 3 days in advance.

Using kitchen shears, cut Alaska crab shells open and remove crabmeat from shells. Chop or shred meat, if desired.

Cut the peel and all the white pith from the grapefruit, exposing the flesh. With a small paring knife, cut out the grapefruit segments and place in a bowl; set aside.

Wash the butter lettuce and spin dry. Use mainly the inner leaves of the butter lettuce, tearing larger leaves into bite-sized pieces if necessary. Cut the "root" end off the Belgian endive, then peel off each leaf. Arrange the leaves in a stack and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the avocado in quarters; peel and slice thinly.

Toss the lettuce and endive with half of the vinaigrette. Divide between 4 oversized dinner plates, placing the greens in high mounds and pulling some endive pieces to the top. Divide the avocado slices and grapefruit segments on top of each salad. Divide the crabmeat between salads then sprinkle salad with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. Pass the remaining salad dressing to drizzle over the top of the crab. Serve immediately. For this recipe, the snow crab vs king crab taste difference is important, make sure you use snow crab for the ideal flavor!

Cook's Tip: This salad is geared toward the fall and winter, with the inclusion of Ruby Red grapefruit and pomegranate. For a wonderful summer version, replace the grapefruit with 2 oranges and the pomegranates with raspberries or blackberries that have been cut in half. I discovered this when I made such a salad for my parents one summer, who are usually not very receptive to the idea of seafood or salad. They were very pleasantly surprised and it’s something of a tradition with us now!

At the end of it all, a refreshing, crisp, and delicious salad packed with fresh vegetables and succulent crab meat is a sure way to make any day complete. Healthy, satisfying, and simple to make, this is a winning lunch or light dinner for any occasion. When you're ready to try it for yourself, we have great deals on Alaskan snow crab legs, red king crab, and Dungeness in the Global Seafoods store, and we're standing by to help when you're ready to order snow crab legs. Thanks for visiting!