Monday, August 22, 2011

Thai Crab and Watermelon Salad

Wow, is it almost the end of August already?  This month has flown by for me, and it is hard for me to imagine that summer is almost over.  But not yet!  Case in point, this beautiful guest post today from Joy of Joylicious features an Easy Thai Crab and Watermelon Salad with gorgeous multi-colored melons, light and and healthy crab, fresh herbs, and a tangy dressing.  If you ask me, it is the perfect way to savor the last days of summer.  Plus, isn't it beautiful?  Although that is to be expected, since it came from Joy's kitchen.  Behind the lens, Joy works magic, and all her posts featuring stunning photography plus amazing recipes and experiences.  I also adore how she artfully integrates text into her photos.  Genius.  And of course, I love that she is just an all around happy gal.  Enjoy the post and be sure to stop by and check out Joylicious! 

Amanda has been one of my great blogger friends since the beginning.  I rooted for her during Project Food Blog and continue to be mesmerized time and time again with her beautiful pictures, recipes and words. While she’s slaving away in graduate school, she’s asked a few of her friends to hold the fort during her dissertation.  So I am so honored to be the guest blogger at The Cilantropist today, thank you Amanda for having me!

One of my favorite parts about summers in Texas are the family get togethers we have on the weekends around the pool.  Every Sunday the family gets together to enjoy a little beer, plenty of grilling and of course lots of eating.  I found this recipe through Food and Wine – they originally had grilled chicken which I’ve replaced with crab.  I love the addition of the watermelon with the bold yet light vinaigrette.  It’s a great appetizer for the summer as it’s easy to prepare and would wow any crowd. 


Thai Crab and Watermelon Salad
Adapted from Food and Wine

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, inner core only, minced well
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups fresh crab meat (jumbo lump or claw)
2 Thai chiles, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp freshly squeeze lime juice
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 tbsp water
Approximately 2 1/2 lbs seedless watermelon, cut into chunks, balls, or rounds, about 3 cups total (use any type/color of watermelon you like)
1/4 cup each of fresh chopped cilantro and mint

In a medium bowl, combine the lemongrass, vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add the crab and let marinate in the refrigerator for approximately 20 minutes.  Then, cut watermelon into various sizes using cookie cutters or a knife, and then set aside until ready to use.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, combine the chiles, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, and water in a mini food processor, and pulse until everything is finely chopped and well mixed.  

When ready to serve, place the crab on each plate, pour the dressing over the crab, and garnish the cilantro and mint.  Arrange the watermelon as you please, and serve immediately.  


  1. What a great summer salad. Love Joy - She is just like her name says - A bundle of Joy :-)

  2. A beautiful salad! That is a delightful and refreshing combination.



  3. This is such a lovely and unexpected surprise. I love the variety of watermelon shapes and the combination of flavors and textures looks to-die-for.

  4. Ha! When I only looked at the picure at tastespotting I thought "What ARE these round pinkish things on that plate?? Sausage??" Now I know what it is and am delighted! Yum.


  5. This sounds so refreshing and very tasty.

  6. Stunning! So artfully done! Off to visit Joy...thanks for the introduction :)

  7. I want to make EVERYTHING on your blog -- especially this. How unique and delicious. I just love this recipe.

  8. Using crab instead of chicken sounds fantastic! This is just what I want to eat during the heat of summer.

  9. I know .. summer is going so fast .. just few more weeks!!! Don't like the cold fall :(
    Crab and watermelon sounds so yumm! Joy is so full of Joy and I adore her work.

  10. This one sounds interesting..and looks delicious! It must be nice on a long hot summer day :)

  11. Boy that sounds so good and refreshing! And different. We like different:). Nice post- thanks

  12. Wonderful salad, I never would have thought of pairing watermelon and crab. Good luck with your dissertation, Amanda!

  13. Joy's photos always amaze me. She has such an amazing eye, and the food. Oh the food. This salad fits right in there with how mouthwatering all her posts are.

  14. Ah, all the flavors I love, from the happiness that is Joy! This salad will be so perfect this week, with the temperatures rising!

  15. Absolutely beeeeutiful. LOVE the watermelon rounds. :)

  16. Thank you for sharing Joy with us... gosh i just adore that woman. And this recipe is stellar... I have no doubt that this is a glorious salad.

  17. Hi Joy and Amanda - the salad is beautiful, crab makes it so much more elegant than chicken.
    Summer in SoCal is just now starting to heat up...I bet we have a hot September 'cause July & most of August have been mild. This is certainly a great dish for hot weather...

  18. Oh me oh my, I love this. Big thanks to Joy for creating this and posting it! I'm wondering if I could sub out the watermelon for some pickled turnip rounds, maybe... my allergy to melon makes summer eating very boring, sadly!

    And you, my darling Amanda, I hope you're well. Huge love coming at you.

    Jax x

  19. Thank you all for the lovely comments! Jackie I think pickled turnips would be perfect for this dish. As much as I love all the beautiful fruits and vegetables of Summer I am really looking forward to some relief from this heat! Happy weekend to all, and thanks again to Amanda for letting me guest post :)

  20. This is my kind of flavor combination, not to mention a beautiful presentation. GREG

  21. What a lovely pairing for a salad...looks delightful Joy :)
    Another wonderful guest post!

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