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Coconut Chickpea Crab Bites with Mint Avocado Crema & Spicy Mango Salsa (Gluten-Free)

Pan fried, topped with Minty Avocado Crema & Spicy Mango Salsa, and served in an endive leaf, Coconut Chickpea Crab Bites are a delicious, gluten free twist on traditional street foods.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut, crab, lettuce cup, pan fry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings


Crab Bites

  • 1 ½ cup chickpea flour, divided
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 8 ounces fresh crab meat
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Endive leaves, to serve

Mint Avocado Crema

  • 2 large avocados, peeled and mashed
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Spicy Mango Salsa

  • 1 mango diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, diced (optional)


Make the Crema & Salsa

  • Prepare and mix together all of the ingredients for the Mint Avocado Crema with a fork, until fully combined and smooth. Add additional salt and/or pepper to taste. Store in a sealed container in the fridge until needed.
  • In a separate container, mix together the ingredients of the Spicy Mango Salsa. Store in a sealed container in the fridge along with the Crema.

Prepare the Frying Station

  • Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, liberally adding the cup of vegetable oil. Working left to right, set up a three bowls or plates: Fill the first bowl with ½ cup each of the chickpea flour and shredded coconut, reserving the rest for the crab bite dough. Leave the second bowl or plate clear for rolled and floured crab bites. Line a third low bowl or plate with paper towels, and set aside (this last plate is the plate you will use to drain oil from the bites once pan fried and finished)

Make the Crab Bites

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients, from the chickpea flour through the white pepper. Using your hands, mix in the coconut flakes, followed by the crab meat, beaten egg, and lime juice until just combined.
  • Form the crab bite dough into small balls, a little less than an inch in diameter. The smaller they are, the easier they fit on the endive leaves when serving. Roll each ball in a dusting of the flour-coconut mixture, and set on the empty plate you set out in the previous section. Repeat until there is no dough left.
  • Working in batches, pan fry the crab bite balls in the prepared skillet. Roll and flip them around until all sides are golden, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the finished crab bites to drain on the paper towel lined plate with a spider or slotted spoon. Repeat until all crab bites are cooked. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.


  • You can either pre-assemble the Crab Bites for your guests with 2-3 crab bites per endive leaf, or set out all the Bites as a shared plate, with crema and salsa on the side. I would do the first if you are eating these for a meal, and the second if they are to be eaten as a shared plate or appetizer.