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Grilled Soft-Shell Crab Tacos

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Grilling lends a smoky note to the sweet crabs and scallions in these tacos, while the tangy avocado mash brightens each bite. If you have tender, fresh corn tortillas, use two per taco to hold in all the delicious juice from the crabs. If your tortillas are thicker, stick with one per taco. Serve with grilled corn on the cob.


  • 2 ripe medium Hass avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil; more for the grill
  • 8 jumbo soft-shell crabs, cleaned
  • 4 medium scallions, trimmed
  • 8 or 16 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 700
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 290
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19
  • Cholesterol (mg): 195
  • Sodium (mg): 1180
  • Carbohydrates (g): 42
  • Fiber (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 61


  • Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium heat.)
  • Using a fork, mash the avocado with 2 Tbs. of the cilantro, the lime juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl; the mixture should be chunky. Set aside.
  • Oil the grill grate. Pat the crabs dry with paper towels and then brush them on both sides with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Season all over with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until lightly charred on the outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads about 145°F, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate or baking sheet.
  • Meanwhile, toss the scallions with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Arrange the scallions perpendicular to the grill grate and cook, turning once, until browned and wilted, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut crosswise into bite-size pieces; sprinkle lightly with salt.
  • Grill the tortillas, flipping once, until warm, soft, and lightly charred in spots, about 1 minute per side. Stack the tortillas in a kitchen towel.
  • Top each tortilla (or doubled tortillas) with some of the avocado mixture, some of the scallion, 1 crab, and the remaining cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.


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