Crab Tower With Mango and Avocado Salsas, a colorful salad of lump crab meat, spicy mango and citrusy avocado medley stacked to impress.
What Is A Crab Tower?
Crab Towers are three salads stacked into one: Crab salad, Mango and Avocado Salsa salad.
Each layer has its own distinct uniqueness, yet one bite of all three together is a flavor explosion of land and sea.
Altogether, these make for a perfect summertime luncheon for a woman’s gathering, a beautiful Mother’s Day treat, or a healthy dinnertime meal.
I Come From The Land Of Lump Crabmeat!
Yep, Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs right out of surrounding waters, is the land where I have lived most of my life.
We are known for our Crab Cakes!
And while crabs can be enjoyed fresh out of the Chesapeake Bay for several months throughout the summer, the tedious work of picking crabs, is fast becoming a fading job market to fill.
No one wants to do the work, and those that do, are on the chopping block of immigrant discrimination.
Crab Meat – The Delicacy Of Coastal Living
Crab meat that is picked in the summer, is enjoyed year-round, and world-wide, as a result of the labor of the crab-pickers.
Those fussy little crabs don’t like cold weather (nor do I!), and so they hide in the mud of the floor of the bay until its bikini season once again!
Crabs – Wherever And Whenever
If you’ve ever cooked in any type of ‘reality’ competition (as I have eleven times), you realize you rely on what you know, when that clock starts ticking.
A few years ago, on Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas (episode 2), I competed.
I was given the challenge to create a ‘hand held anything’ made with Mac & Cheese.
Instantly I knew I had to use crab in my creation.
However, I wasn’t in Maryland and there were no Blue Crabs, only fresh Dungeness crab meat.
I grabbed it, made the first ever, Mac & Cheese crab rolls with those chunky Dungeness crabs, and wow was it a hit!
Crab, Mango and Avocado Salsa Towers – The Ultimate Bridal Party Luncheon
The concept of Crab Towers is one my son Omar Daumit, a culinary trained executive chef, taught me how to make.
He makes a dish similar to this for thousands and thousands of bridal dining guests year-round.
Crab ‘something’ is always on the catering menu, no matter the occasion.
This Crab Tower has become top on the list of ‘must-haves’.
Not only because it is refreshingly delicious, but because there is ‘No Gluten’ involved.
Many who love crabs, but have dietary restrictions, will love these crab towers.
There isn’t bread filler, as there sometimes is in crab cake sandwiches or fried crab balls.
Also note that for those with shellfish allergies, the crab can be swapped for salmon or another fish.
A New Crab Tower Creation With Avocado And Mango
Summertime rolled around and I was planning for a girl’s luncheon.
I wanted to showcase crabs, make something pretty, healthy, colorful and use my early prep time to my advantage.
The one aspect of entertaining I detest, is if I choose a menu that requires most of the cooking last minute.
That, is when my crab towers with mango and avocado salsas got created.
The Perfect Mother’s Day Luncheon
Want to wow your mom for Mother’s Day?
May is the month crabs come into season, so why not make her the most beautiful Mother’s Day Luncheon she has ever had!
You will want to serve your mom a healthy, beautiful and easy to make luncheon, so more time is spent just chatting together!
And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of my Tapas Cookbook, The World On My Plate for a gift she will be excited to receive.
You will be thrilled as well as she makes fun and easy small plate dishes for you when you gather.
Seafood Towers For Ladies Luncheons
Each of the components were prepared in advance, stored in separate bowls covered with plastic wrap until time to assemble.
The ladies took their seats at the table with a glass of wine while I quick put the towers together, each in the center of an individual plate.
Can you believe the total time to assemble these gorgeous dishes was less than 10-minutes!
Any remaining ingredients went back into the fridge for me to enjoy the next day.
Crab Towers With Seafood Options
As is often the case, shellfish allergies would prevent someone for enjoying this lovely dish.
Just serving that person the mango and avocado salsas alone wouldn’t have been right.
So, also made an alternative for those guests.
An ahi tuna tower with all the same ingredients as I used in the crab meat salad was spectacular.
You could make it with salmon as well, even lobster tails, should you have any tucked away in your freezer.
However please, please don’t use imitation crab.
It is… well, an imitation and the companies that make is, state that clearly.
To me, imitation crab meat is kind of like pork parts are in a hotdog!
How To Make Crab Towers
There are three fast preparation parts to this dish, and for those that are allergic to shellfish, simply swap poached salmon or tuna out for the crab!
- First, the crab, or salmon salad is the showstopper element to this lovely dish. With just a splash of homemade mayonnaise to boost the fat content in a lean seafood.
- Second, the mango salsa, with freshly chopped mango, jalapeño and lots of cilantro. Or you can use parsley if cilantro is not your thing.
- Finally is the avocado and lime salad, layered along with each other colorful salad.
How To Assemble Crab Mango and Avocado Towers
I have used a biscuit or cookie cutter to carefully stack the layers, but a Sushi Tower Gadget is easy and very affordable!
Simply place the tower tool on the center of the plate.
Stack the three prepared dishes (crab, mango, and avocado) one layer at a time.
Press all layers down to pack them together, and gently remove the tower form, and you have a beautiful, colorful display of deliciousness!
Garnish For Crab Towers
Often times, when we think of a little garnish on a plate, we don’t take into consideration that a garnish is more than a leaf plopped on top.
You can garnish with micro-green, edible flowers, chopped heirloom cherry tomatoes, anything you would like.
The elements of a garnish can often have an abundance of nutritional value as well as taste.
For Other Light Seafood Recipes
There is such a variety of seafood recipes I love to serve throughout the warm months of the year and would be happy to share them with you!
- Lobster Tails with Potato and Smoked Paprika – homemade smoked paprika
- Fish In A Fig Leaf – the dish I prepared for the Finale of The Great American Recipe on PBS
- Fresh Lump Crab Salsa In A Crab Shell – a magnificently colorful dish showcasing lump crab
- Smoked Okra and Salmon Salad – freshly picked delicate okra, smoked to pair with smoked salmon in a summertime salad
- Seared Scallops Over Pea Pesto – homegrown peas, whisked into a spicy pesto compliment a perfectly seared scallop
- Lump Crab meat
- Lemon juice
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Lime juice
- Red onion
- Chopping board
- Chopping knife
- 4-inch biscuit press or Sushi Tower Press
- Mixing bowl
- Slotted spoon
- Serving plates
Crab Tower With Avocado and Mango Salsas
- Sushi tower or biscuit cutter
- Cutting board and knife
- Crab Ingredients
- 1 lb Lump Crab Meat
- 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Capers
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice and a little zest
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning or comparable
- Salt to taste
- Mango Salsa Ingredients
- 2 Mangos ripe
- 1-2 Jalapenos finely chopped
- 1 Lime juiced
- 1/2 cup Cilantro or Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup Red onion finely chopped
- Salt – to taste
- Avocado Ingredients
- 2 Ripe Avocado – 2 chopped finely finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Lemon or lime juice
- Salt to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice and spices. Gently fold in the crab meat to the mayonnaise mixture. Set aside
- Cut the mangos, onion, herbs and jalapeños into very small, confetti size pieces and place in a different medium bowl. Squeeze in the lime juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, mix and add salt as is needed. Set aside.
- Cut the ripe avocados into very small pieces and place in a small bowl. Add the citrus juice (or vinegar), and salt and with the back of a fork, gently mash just a little, leaving some texture to the avocados. Set aside.
- To Assemble: In the center of a plate, the salad plate each will be served in, place a 3-inch-wide round biscuit cutter, or 3-inch sushi tower. Place a spoon of the avocado mixture first, pressing with the back of a soup spoon to make it firmly in place and level. Do the same with the crab mixture. Finish the final level with the mango mixture. Gently, with the back of a spoon, press down on the top of each crab tower gently while lifting the ring mold or tower so that the tower is beautifully stacked and firmly in place. Follow through with the remaining servings.
- For added color on the plate, finely cut cubes of red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, or a firm Roma tomato and scatter around the crab tower, perhaps a few micro greens.