I’m steering clear of anything that involves pre-heating, sauteing, boiling or baking at the moment, as the mere thought of going near my stove gives me heatstroke.
But I was determined to beat the east coast heat with a no-cook dish that comes straight from one of my favorite hometown restaurants, Roppongi of La Jolla. Delicious. Healthy. Impressive. No oven required. The La Jolla Crab Stack has it all.
Chef Stephen Windows stacks layer upon layer of fruits and veggies and then tops off the tower with a handful of fresh crab meat. A final drizzle of make-ahead ginger dressing gives this piled high stack a punch of far eastern flavor.
Ready to start stacking? Grab your knife and check out this quick video for how to cut perfect cubes of mango without any mess!
La Jolla Crab Stack
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon sugar
6 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup water
1 cup pea shoots
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced avocado
1 cup fresh crab meat
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the ginger, sugar, lime juice, garlic and water. Refrigerate the dressing overnight.
See step-by-step photos below to assemble each of the four crab stacks by tightly layering together in a mold one fourth of each of the pea shoots, tomatoes, cucumbers, mango, onions, avocado and crab. (If you don't have a mold, you can use any hollowed-out aluminum can or circular bottle).
Press down on the top layer while slowly removing the mold to reveal the freestanding crab stack. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to form a total of four crab stacks.
Drizzle the crab stacks with the ginger-lime dressing and serve.
Recipe adapted from Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar in La Jolla, Calif.
Step 1: Place a layer of pea shoots in the mold and then top with a layer of firmly packed tomatoes.
Step 2: Place a layer of sliced cucumbers atop the tomatoes, fanning them out to fill the circular mold.
Step 3: Layer the diced mango atop the cucumbers, then add the red onions.
Step 4: Add a layer of avocado, pushing it firmly into the mold.
Step 5: Add a layer of crab, then while pushing down on the crab with one hand, slowly slide the mold upward to reveal the layered La Jolla Crab Stack. Drizzle with ginger-lime dressing and serve.