Crab and Melon Taquitos
Chef Katsuji Tanabe is back to show off a light take on refreshing taquitos!


  • 1 large cantaloupe
  • 1 16 oz crab meat
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • Half of a habanero, seeds removed, minced (use gloves to do this)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/3, cup left over cantaloupe scraps, chopped small
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro leaves and flowers for garnish
  • Marigolds for garnish (pulled petals)

Ingredients for the Fennel and Habanero:

  • 1/2 cup fennel shaved thin on mandoline
  • Half a habanero, seeds removed and sliced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • A few peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lime

Ingredients for Chive Oil:

  • 1 bunch of chives
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

Serves 4 people as a light appetizer

Prep directions:

  1. Rinse the outside of the cantaloupe well.
  1. Cut off top and bottom of melon to make a stable base.
  1. With a sharp knife- Starting at the top shave off the skin as you follow the curve around to the bottom.
  1. Repeat this step until all the skin has been removed.
  1. With a mandoline shave thin slices of the melon to get skins you will use to wrap around the crab salad (like taquitos)
  1. Place skins on a wire rack and sprinkle a touch of both salt and sugar, this will pull out the water and make them pliable enough to be rolled.

Directions for the Crab Salad:

  1. Make sure crab is clean and free of any shell bits.
  1. I use gloves and with a strainer over a bowl and pick though it and then squeeze it to get any excess moisture out.
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until desired consistency, taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Directions for the Pickled fennel and habanero:

  1. Heat water, sugar, salt, vinegar, bay leaf, and peppercorns until sugar is dissolved.
  1. Add lime juice, fennel and habanero.
  1. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use, preferably 1 hour or more.
  1. Can keep up to two weeks.

Directions for Chive Oil:

  1. Blanch chives in salted boiling water 10 seconds, remove and place in an ice bath.
  1. Once cool dry off with paper towel.
  1. Add a tablespoon of oil with chives and salt to blender.
  1. With blender running add remaining oil.
  1. Place in sealed container in fridge overnight.
  1. Strain and then place in a squirt bottle.
  1. Keep refrigerated when not in use.
  1. Place crab salad in middle of melon skins like you would a taquito.
  1. Roll and place seem side down in small individual casserole type dishes (white preferable).
  1. Top with pickled fennel, cilantro leaves and or flowers and garnish with the chive oil.

Melon and Crab Taquitos - Home & Family

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