Crab Tostadas Recipe

These easy tostadas are filled with simple ingredients and packed with Mexican flavour. Lourdes Castro is a New York City-based chef, food writer, and NYU food science teacher. Her first book, Simply Mexican, is full of authentic Mexican recipes that require little prep time and use easy-to-find ingredients.

1 lb. lump crabmeat
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño, stemmed and finely chopped
3 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
2 limes, finely grated zest and juice
Salt and black pepper
8 flat tostada shells, packaged or homemade*
1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced

Cilantro sprigs
2 limes, quartered

* You can buy commercial tostada shells or fry your own. Commerical tostada shells are basically large tortilla chips. Buy your favourite brand, but try to find tostadas that are 6-9″ wide, round and flat. To make homemade tostadas, purchase 6″ corn tortillas. Pour 2″ of oil into a shallow pan and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tortillas, one at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan, place on a paper towel-lined dish, and sprinkle with salt.


Step 1: Put the crabmeat in a bowl. Pick through it with your fingers to remove any cartilage.

Step 2: Add the oil, mayonnaise, onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime zest and juice to the crabmeat. Using a rubber spatula or spoon, gently fold (or toss) all ingredients until well blended. Season well with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Top each tostada shell with a few slices of avocado, place a generous serving of the crabmeat mixture over it, and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve each with a lime wedge. While these tostadas make a great main course, you can also make smaller, bite-size ones to be served as hors d’oeuvres. Another more casual option is to put the crabmeat mixture in a bowl or platter and serve the tortillas alongside, allowing guests to make their own tostadas. In this case, dice the avocado and fold it into the crabmeat mixture.

Make Ahead: The crabmeat mixture can be made a day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Reprinted with permission from Lourdes Castro’s Simply Mexican (2009 Ten Speed Press).

Photo Simply Mexican Cookbook