Salad of Crab, Avocado, and Lime

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units).It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews.Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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Serves 2


a small, red chile
2 thin spring onions
10cm/ 2.5 inch piece cucumber
2 small avocados
300g/10.5 oz crabmeat

For the dressing
1 tablespoon palm sugar or caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
a handful of cilantro leaves

To serve
4 slices ciabatta
1/2 lime
a little olive oil

Seed and very finely chop the chile. Cut the spring onions into very fine slices and add to the chile. Peel the cucumber, halve it, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, then dice the flesh into tiny cubes. Remove the flesh from the avocados and dice it finely. Toss the cucumber and avocado with the spring onions and chile.

Put the sugar in a small mixing bowl, add the fish sauce and lime juice and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Chop the cilantro leaves and stir into the dressing.

Toast the slices of bread till crisp, rub with the cut side of the lime to release a little of the juice, then trickle over enough olive oil to saturate each one. Put the crabmeat in a mixing bowl with the cucumber and avocado mixture, pour over the dressing and toss very gently, using a fork to mix. Pile onto plates and serve with the lime toasts.