Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower Recipe from USA

Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower

Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower Recipe from USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 6


Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower
Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower

The Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower is a sophisticated and visually stunning dish that combines the rich, buttery flavors of avocado with the sweet, delicate taste of Dungeness crab. This recipe is perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your guests with a dish that looks as incredible as it tastes. The combination of fresh ingredients, vibrant colors, and diverse textures makes this tower a feast for the senses.


The Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower is a modern culinary creation that draws inspiration from both Californian and Asian cuisines. The use of avocado is a nod to California's rich agricultural heritage, where avocados are abundant and a staple in many dishes. The inclusion of Dungeness crab pays homage to the Pacific Northwest, where this particular species of crab is harvested. The dish's layered presentation is inspired by Asian techniques, particularly Japanese, known for their meticulous and aesthetically pleasing food arrangements.


Avocado tropical salsa

Blood orange vinaigrette

Flavored avocado oil

How to prepare

  1. Using a tear-shaped mold, cut 24 shapes from wonton skins.
  2. Alternatively, fold the wonton skins in half and cut the shape by hand.
  3. Deep fry until the shapes are golden brown and blistered.
  4. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  5. Mix together the cooked crab and 0.75 cup of vinaigrette. Set aside.
  6. Per order: in a 6 oz (170 g) tear-shaped mold, place 1 tbsp of salsa.
  7. Add 2 oz (57 g) of crab mixture and continue to layer salsa, crab, salsa, crab, and finish with salsa.
  8. Layer thin slices of avocado off-center on a serving plate.
  9. Unmold the tower on a wonton shell and place it next to the sliced avocado.
  10. Drizzle 1 tbsp each of flavored avocado oil and blood orange vinaigrette around the tower.
  11. Garnish with a second fried wonton shape and 3 chives.

Avocado tropical salsa

  1. Sauté the onion in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in lime juice and let it cool.
  3. Fold in the remaining ingredients and set aside.

Blood orange vinaigrette

  1. Melt the puree over medium heat and let it cool.
  2. Stir in vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper.
  3. Whisk in oil.
  4. Season to taste and set aside.

Flavored avocado oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.


  • 1. For a vegetarian version, replace the Dungeness crab with marinated tofu or chickpeas.
  • 2. Add a layer of thinly sliced cucumber or radish for an extra crunch and freshness.
  • 3. For a spicier version, incorporate a layer of finely chopped jalapeños or a drizzle of sriracha mayo.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. When selecting avocados, choose ones that are ripe but still firm to ensure they hold their shape when sliced.

2. For the Dungeness crab, fresh is best. If unavailable, high-quality canned crab can be a good substitute.

3. Use a sharp knife to cut the wonton skins into shapes to ensure clean edges.

4. When layering the tower, press down gently on each layer to ensure the tower holds its shape when unmolded.

5. If you don't have a tear-shaped mold, any small cylindrical mold or even a clean, empty can with both ends removed will work.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower as a stunning appetizer or a light main course. It pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling, which complements the dish's flavors without overpowering them.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying the won ton skins requires careful temperature control to ensure they are golden brown and crispy without being greasy. Layering the tower components requires precision and a gentle touch to maintain the structure's integrity.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. If Dungeness crab is unavailable, substitute with another type of crab meat, lobster, or even shrimp.

2. Rice vinegar can be used in place of rice wine vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.

3. If you're unable to find blood orange for the vinaigrette, regular orange juice concentrate can be used as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

The flavored avocado oil, blood orange vinaigrette, and avocado tropical salsa can all be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Assemble the towers just before serving to ensure the won ton skins remain crisp.

Presentation Ideas

Serve each tower on a white plate to highlight the colors of the dish. Garnish with microgreens or edible flowers for an extra touch of elegance. A drizzle of the flavored avocado oil and blood orange vinaigrette around the plate adds visual appeal and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Aside from the aforementioned white wines, this dish also pairs well with light, citrusy beers or a crisp, dry sparkling wine. For a non-alcoholic option, consider a sparkling water with a squeeze of lime to complement the dish's flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

It's best to consume the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower fresh. However, if you have leftovers, deconstruct the towers and store the components separately in the refrigerator. Reassemble and enjoy within 24 hours for the best quality.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower contains approximately 300-350 calories, making it a moderate-calorie option that fits well into a balanced diet.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the won ton skins and the fruits in the avocado tropical salsa. Each serving contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those on a moderate carbohydrate diet.


The Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower is rich in healthy fats, primarily from the avocados and the avocado oil used in the garnish. Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. The total fat content per serving is approximately 20-25 grams, with a significant portion being these heart-healthy fats.


Dungeness crab is an excellent source of high-quality protein, with each serving of this dish providing around 15-20 grams of protein. This makes the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower a satisfying and muscle-friendly option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, thanks to the avocados and fresh fruits used in the salsa. Avocados are rich in vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as folate, magnesium, and potassium. The fruits add a boost of vitamin C and dietary fiber, making this dish not only delicious but also highly nutritious.


The primary allergens in this dish are shellfish (crab) and wheat (won ton skins). Those with allergies to these ingredients should avoid this dish or seek suitable substitutions.


Overall, the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. It is moderately low in carbohydrates and calories, making it a suitable option for those following a balanced or heart-healthy diet.


The Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower is a visually stunning and deliciously complex dish that combines fresh, high-quality ingredients in a memorable presentation. Perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress, this dish is not only a feast for the eyes but also packed with nutritious benefits. With a balance of flavors, textures, and colors, it's sure to be a hit with your guests.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young woman with a passion for cooking and a curiosity for trying new and exciting recipes. I had heard about a dish called Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower from a friend who had recently visited a fancy restaurant in the city. She described it as a beautiful and delicious appetizer that was served in layers, creating a tower of flavors and textures.

I was immediately intrigued and knew that I had to try making it myself. I set out on a mission to find the recipe, scouring cookbooks and asking friends and family if they had heard of such a dish. After a few weeks of searching, I finally stumbled upon a recipe in an old cookbook that I had inherited from my grandmother.

The recipe was simple yet elegant, calling for ripe avocados, fresh Dungeness crab meat, vine-ripened tomatoes, and a tangy citrus dressing. I was thrilled to have found it and wasted no time gathering the ingredients to make it for my family.

I remember the excitement and anticipation as I carefully assembled the layers of avocado, crab meat, and tomatoes in a tall, cylindrical mold. I drizzled the citrus dressing over the tower and garnished it with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of sea salt. The final result was a work of art, a masterpiece of flavors and textures that I knew would impress even the most discerning of palates.

As I presented the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower to my family, their eyes widened in amazement at the sight of the towering dish before them. I could see the anticipation in their faces as they eagerly took their first bite, savoring the creamy avocado, sweet crab meat, and tangy dressing.

The dish was a hit, a culinary triumph that I would remember for years to come. From that day on, the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower became a staple in my repertoire of recipes, a dish that I would make time and time again for special occasions and dinner parties.

Over the years, I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing down the tradition of making this delicious dish to the next generation. Each time I make it, I am reminded of that first time I discovered the recipe and the joy and excitement it brought me.

As I look back on my culinary journey, I am grateful for the experiences and memories that I have collected along the way. Cooking has always been a passion of mine, a way to express my creativity and love for good food. And the Avocado and Dungeness Crab Tower will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the joy that can be found in discovering new recipes and sharing them with the ones we love.


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