• 20 to 30 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 8

This dish originated in the mid-1980’s at the start of the Southwest cuisine movement. It drew heavily on Mexican culinary traditions, but instilled with spirit of the heart of Texas. And it was certainly not French – at the time we were trying to prove that Texas cooking was equal to French cooking. It also embodied a philosophy of cooking – buy great ingredients and harmonize them. This dish depends on high-quality crab meat and ripe avocados. The remaining ingredients serve only to embellish the core ingredients. Perhaps this is why the dish is as popular today as it was back then – great crab and ripe avocados.

As for a wine suggestion, I prefer crisp whites aged without wood. A Chenin Blanc or a fragrant White Rhone pair well, and a Muscadet or Pinot Blanc is also nice.” – Robert Del Grande, The Annie Café & Bar

The Annie (credit Kirsten Gilliam)
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam


Crab Meat

  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Pinch salt and pepper


  • 2 avocados (ripe)
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp white onion, finely diced
  • 1 serrano chili, finely diced (seeds removed)
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

Cabbage Slaw

  • 2 cups green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Pinch salt and pepper

  • Tortillas, fried (round or triangle shaped)


Crab Meat

  1. Carefully inspect the crab meat and remove any pieces of shell.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cream, and lime juice, and mix well.
  3. Add the crab meat and very gently toss in the mayonnaise until lightly coated.


  1. Peel and seed the avocados. Cut into small dices.
  2. In a bowl, combine the avocado with the remaining ingredients. With a spoon, lightly mash the avocado to incorporate the other ingredients. The avocado mixture should not be too smooth.

 Cabbage Slaw

  1. Combine the mayonnaise, cream, lime juice, and blend.
  2. Add the finely shredded cabbage and cilantro, and lightly mix.

To Assemble

  1. Top each tortilla chip with some avocado relish.
  2. Top the avocado with some crab meat.
  3. Top each tostada with a little cabbage slaw, and garnish with a cilantro sprig or leaf.

Note from the Chef: The tostadas can be made in any size – either small triangles as hors d’oeuvres or larger rounds as a first course. You can fry the tortillas yourself or purchase them.

Support Your Local Chef

The Annie Café & Bar


1800 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 6170
Houston, TX 77056  |  Map

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