Crab lettuce cups or you could call them mini crab lettuce wraps, are an easy entertaining idea. Quickly whip together a simple creamy crab salad and top mini cos/romaine lettuce leaves. The perfect finger food to pass around at gatherings.
I recently whipped these together for a rather spectacular seafood platter. A little something to add that extra element of variety. It dawned on me at the time, that by themselves, they are a great finger food idea for entertaining.
Originally I was thinking of using a crab Louie style filling, which has some of the elements of a classic Marie Rose sauce. Then I decided to keep the flavour profile simple to let the crab meat shine through.
The great thing about this recipe is you can make the creamy crab salad the night before. Then it is simply the case of topping mini cos lettuce leaves before your guests arrive.
- Crab Meat: You can buy crabs and pick the meat yourself. Blue Swimmer crabs have lovely sweet meat. Alternatively, like I did, but a tub of crab meat from your local fish monger. In a pinch (and if on a budget) you can also use tinned crab meat. You could also use prawns/shrimp instead of crab.
- Salt: Just a pinch to season.
- Lemon: Both the zest and juice are used in this recipe. Fresh lime or yuzu is a wonderful alternative.
- Mayonnaise: I used my easy homemade mayonnaise. If you don't want to make mayonnaise from scratch use your favourite (not too sweet) good quality egg mayonniase.
- Chives: Fresh chives are a must, dried chives just don't have the same flavour profile and fresh mellow onion taste.
- Sour Cream: Don't use light or low fat sour cream, it is more about texture than the taste. Light sour cream tends to be runnier than straight sour cream which is thicker. If you know a brand of light sour cream that has a thick consistency, feel free to use it.
- Cos Lettuce: Mini or baby cos lettuce. Also known as Gem or mini Romaine lettuce. You can use any kind of mini lettuce that have crunchy leaves for texture. Soft lettuce leaves don't stand up to the task in this recipe. You could also use witlof/endive, but remember that the leaves do have a bitter taste to them.
How to Make Crab Lettuce Cups
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a printable version of this recipe.
Place crab meat, chives, lemon zest, mayonnaise and sour cream in a large bowl.
Mix well, add lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Mix again and taste. Add more lemon and salt as needed. Top lettuce leaves and serve.
Sara's Top Recipe Tips
If you are using store bought picked crab meat it has a higher water content than if you have picked the meat yourself. To stop your crab salad being on the runny side make sure you squeeze excess water from the crab meat before using.
Check the crab meat for shell. I often find a piece or two in store bought crab meat. There is nothing worse than a guest getting a crunchier crab lettuce cup than they should.
Unfortunately, the creamy crab salad that is used for these crab lettuce cups isn't suitable to freeze.
I wouldn't keep the carb salad any longer than a couple of days. Keep any leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge.
Creamy Crab Lettuce Cups
- 200 grams (1 cup) crab meat | break up any large chunks of crab
- 2 tablespoons chives |finely chopped
- ? cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 lemon, zest & 3-4 teaspoons of juice
- pinch of salt
- 20 mini cos/romaine lettuce leaves | washed and dried
- Place crab meat, chives, mayonnaise, sour cream, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
- Mix ingredients together until well combined.
- Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt, mix into the crab mixture thoroughly.
- Taste the crab mixture and more lemon juice and salt as needed. At this stage, the crab mixture can be placed in the fridge until needed.
- Top lettuce cups with the crab salad and serve immediately.
All measurements are Australian metric standard. All measures are level, and cups are lightly packed unless specified. 1 teaspoon = 5ml / 1 tablespoon = 20mls / 1 cup = 250ml /4 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon.
- 1 teaspoon equals 5ml
- 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml (Nth America, NZ & UK use 15ml tablespoons)
- 1 cup equals 250ml (Nth America use 237ml)
- 4 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon
- I use the below unless specified in my recipes.
The recipe's nutritional information is an approximation based on an online calculator. It is meant solely for reference purposes. If you're looking for precise details, be sure to double-check with your own research.