Friday, August 1, 2014

Crab Salpicon / Salpicón de Jaiba

Crab Jaiba SalpiconB.jpg
This simple-to-make but flavorful dish is a common staple found in the seafood restaurants of my hometown Tampico, in the state of Tamaulipas. Tamaulipas is located in the northeast part of the country, just south of the Texan border. Although the oil industry is a major part of the economy in Tampico, commercial and recreational fishing is an important part of the lives of its habitants. People born in Tampico are informally known as “Jaibas” (Crabs), and the crab is used as an emblem all around town. Tampico’s ideal location on the Gulf of Mexico, along the Panuco River and surrounded by lagoons, makes it an important player in the country’s fishing production, as well as in the international fishing tournaments. Shrimp, crayfish, oysters, and blue crabs are the common catches in the state of Tamaulipas; although freshwater fish and tilapia are also abundant throughout the state.
Crab Jaiba Salpicon9A.jpg

Crabs are prepared by the locals in soups, salads, cocktails, ceviche, salpicón, steamed, and stuffed. Stuffed crabs are sold frozen at the local airport for tourists leaving town, so that they can take a little piece of the local gastronomy back home with them.
I am posting two recipes: a simple one that lets you enjoy the full flavors of the crab meat, and another that’s a little bit more complex with tomatoes, olives, and capers, but is still a mouthwatering experience. As with most recipes, every home cook can add their personal touch; some will add extra herbs like bay leaf, oregano, or parsley, and others will spice it up by adding some dried pepper. I hope you enjoy cooking any of these versions.
Crab Jaiba Salpicon3A.jpg
SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS FOR SALPICON (SIMPLE)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb. crab meat
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Warm corn tortillas, tostadas, or tortilla chips for serving
 DIRECTIONS:Crab Jaiba Salpicon4ab1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet; add onion and celery, and sauté until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. See picture above.
2. Add the crab meat and serrano pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Turn the heat off; add the cilantro, stir, and season with salt and pepper
4. Serve over corn tostadas or with tortilla chips.
 SALPICON WITH TOMATOS, OLIVES, AND CAPERS
SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced finely
  • 1 lb. crab meat
  • 1/3 cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and pat dried
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Warm corn tortillas, tostadas or tortilla chips for serving
DIRECTIONS:
Crab Jaiba Salpicon8A.jpg
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté until slightly golden, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the chopped tomato and serrano pepper, stir, and cook for another 8 – 10 minutes. Let the tomato reduce its juices.
3. Add crab meat, stuffed olives, and capers. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Turn the heat off; add the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper
5. Serve over corn tostadas or with tortilla chips.

7 comments :

  1. wow lovely recipe really like crab

    ReplyDelete
  2. Se me antoja mucho hacer esta receta..... donde consigues la jaiba?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. En Costco, o en el supermercado Giant.

      Delete
  3. Muchas gracias Mely, lo buscaré!! Se me antoja también hacer esta receta con marlín...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me encantan las tostadas de Marlin, pero no se consigue en est ciudad. El salpicon de Marlin es delicioso.

      Saludos!

      Delete
  4. Should I use raw or cooked crab? I made it with cooked canned crab, and the long cooking time (after adding the crab) resulted in some burned bits on the bottom of the pan. And, constant stirring to prevent that broke the crab up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Rick,

      I use cooked crab meat. Try adding the crab meat at the end of the cooking time, if you check the recipe it indicates 5 minutes, just enough time to warm the crab and allow the flavors to blend. Happy cooking!

      Delete

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