Dungeness Crab Tacos with Avocado Mousse and Meyer Lemon

Dungeness Crab Tacos with Avocado Mousse and Meyer Lemon
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About This Recipe

As a Napa Valley local, I am always inspired by the flavors and ingredients of our region. It was on a lovely day while exploring the coast of Northern California that I came up with the idea for these Dungeness Crab Tacos with Avocado Mousse and Meyer Lemon. The abundance of Dungeness crab in the area and the unique flavor of Meyer lemons, which are a local favorite, provided the perfect starting point for a dish that encapsulates the essence of wine country cuisine.

To create the recipe, I combined fresh Dungeness crab with a creamy, zesty avocado mousse, featuring the delightful tang of Meyer lemons. The result is a taste sensation that showcases the freshness of the crab and the vibrant flavors of the Napa Valley.

When it comes to side dishes, you can't go wrong with a crisp, refreshing jicama and cucumber salad, dressed with lime juice and a sprinkling of chili powder. This light and zesty salad complements the rich flavors of the crab tacos beautifully. If you're looking for something heartier, consider serving the tacos alongside a warm quinoa and roasted vegetable salad, which adds an earthy, rustic touch to the meal.

For dessert, a lovely fruit salad featuring local fruits, such as strawberries, kiwi, and oranges, would be a refreshing choice. Alternatively, you could opt for a classic California dessert like a creamy Meyer lemon tart or a silky panna cotta topped with seasonal berries.

When sourcing ingredients for this recipe, look for fresh, local Dungeness crab from a reputable seafood market or coastal fisherman. Napa Valley Farmers' Market and Sonoma County Farmers' Market both offer a great selection of fresh, local ingredients, including the Meyer lemons and avocado needed for this dish.

To elevate the dining experience, I recommend pairing these crab tacos with a crisp, refreshing Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The bright acidity and citrus notes of the Sauvignon Blanc will enhance the flavors of the crab and avocado mousse, while the Chardonnay provides a richer, more buttery complement. Consider trying a Sauvignon Blanc from Frog's Leap Winery, a Chardonnay from Rombauer Vineyards, or a Chardonnay from Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards.

The beauty of California's wine country shines through in this dish, offering a taste of the region's bounty and a connection to the land and sea. From the Dungeness crab and Meyer lemons to the wines that accompany it, this meal is a celebration of the flavors and terroir of the Napa Valley and Northern California.

Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab – The Star of California's Coastal Cuisine

Dungeness crab is a gem of the Pacific Northwest, cherished for its sweet, delicate flavor and tender texture. Thriving in the cold waters of Northern California, Dungeness crabs have become a culinary icon of the region, especially in dishes like the Dungeness Crab Tacos. Packed with protein, essential minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, this crab not only delights the palate but also offers significant health benefits. When combined with other regional flavors, like Meyer lemon and avocado, Dungeness crab exemplifies the rich, diverse bounty of the Napa Valley.

Helpful 'How To': Making Avocado Mousse

Mastering Avocado Mousse for Your Dungeness Crab Tacos

  1. Selecting the Perfect Avocado: For a creamy mousse, it's essential to choose ripe avocados. They should be slightly soft to the touch but not mushy.
  2. Smooth Blending: Combine avocados, sour cream, and other ingredients in a blender. For the smoothest texture, pulse until you achieve a velvety consistency.
  3. Balancing Flavors: The tang of Meyer lemon juice contrasts beautifully with the richness of avocado. Adjust the amount to your taste preference.
  4. Storing: If not using immediately, press a plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mousse to prevent browning and store in the fridge.

FAQs for Dungeness Crab Tacos

  1. Can I use another type of crab meat if Dungeness isn't available? Yes, you can substitute with blue crab or lump crab meat. The flavor profile might change slightly, but the dish will still be delicious.
  2. How do I store leftover avocado mousse? Store in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the mousse surface to minimize browning. Consume within 1-2 days.
  3. Can I make these tacos gluten-free? The recipe is already gluten-free, as it uses corn tortillas. However, always check ingredient labels to ensure no cross-contamination.
  4. Is there a non-dairy alternative to sour cream in the avocado mousse? Absolutely! You can use a non-dairy yogurt or cashew cream as a substitute.
  5. What other toppings can I add to the tacos? For added texture and flavor, consider adding sliced radishes, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, or a drizzle of hot sauce.

Tips for Crafting the Perfect Crab Tacos

  1. Tortilla Toasting: Warming the tortillas makes them more pliable and enhances their flavor. Use a dry skillet, and don't skip this step!
  2. Crab Prep: Ensure the crab meat is free from any shells. You want the texture to be soft and uninterrupted in every bite.
  3. Balanced Garnishing: Don't overpower the delicate taste of Dungeness crab. Meyer lemon zest adds a fragrant finishing touch without overwhelming the dish.

Recipe Overview

Dungeness Crab Tacos with Avocado Mousse and Meyer Lemon
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 8 ounces fresh Dungeness crab meat, cooked and shredded
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 small Meyer lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine avocados, sour cream, cilantro leaves, Meyer lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, forming the avocado mousse.
  2. Warm the corn tortillas in a skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side, until they are soft and pliable.
  3. Assemble the tacos by spreading a layer of avocado mousse on each tortilla. Top with shredded Dungeness crab, cabbage, red onion, and chopped cilantro.
  4. Garnish with a pinch of Meyer lemon zest and a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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