Crab salad is a delicious, filling, and versatile dish that’s great as a summer lunch or even for wintertime festivities. It is a simple salad that can be made in minutes, and a nutritious dish that everyone will love.
We present to you two crab salad recipes that are simple, delicious, and easy to make.
What is a Crab Salad?
A crab salad is a salad that’s made with crab meat. It’s a popular dish on the US West Coast and served as is, or in a sandwich, crackers, lettuce, and many other means of serving.
While real crab meat is the most ideal to use with this salad, most people in the US use imitation crab or also known as krab meat since real crab meat is labor-intensive to prepare. Real crab meat is also more expensive, making imitation meat the most popular ingredient to use with crab salad.
A Word on Imitation Crab
Imitation crab is not made of real crab meat but it’s made of a white fish paste. Most people use imitation crab for their homemade crab salad because it’s accessible – almost all grocery stores have it. It’s also inexpensive and most are available as crab sticks, which are easy to flake.
Imitation crab meat is typically made of Alaskan Pollock. The meat from this fish is blended or grounded and blended with other ingredients such as starch and crab flavoring to resemble real crab meat. This paste or ground white fish is also known as Surimi and is popularly used in sushi.
Though real crab meat will make any crab salad delicious, imitation crab meat is just as scrumptious if you don’t have access to real crab meat, or you want to make your salad fast.
Flaking real crab meat takes time, and there’s always a possibility that some shell will get into the mix. If you must use real crab meat, you can use canned crab meat as they are mostly already flaked.
Ways to Serve Crab Salad
Crab salad can be consumed as is, but it’s so versatile that you can serve it in many different ways. Here are some of the most popular ways you can serve crab salad:
- In a Sandwich
Crab salad is great to serve in a toasted roll with some lettuce. Since crab salad is soggy, it’s not ideal to use on white bread or a regular roll. Tasted roll or a subway loaf is best for crab salad.
- With Lettuce
Spoon your crab salad in a lettuce cup and eat. You can control how big or small your lettuce cup will be.
- With Crackers
Spoon your crab salad on crackers. You can also use sliced cucumber as a healthier option than crackers.
- With Pasta
Add crab salad to 8 ounces of cooked pasta for a crab pasta salad.
- Puff Pastry
Cook puff pastry shells and fill them up with crab salad.
A Simple Crab Salad Recipe
This simple crab salad recipe makes use of imitation crab, mayonnaise, and some added ingredients to add more flavor to your salad. Prep time is around 20 minutes and the recipe serves anywhere from 4 to 6 servings.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp. sour cream
- 1 tsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound imitation crab meat
- 1/2 cup minced celery
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. chopped red onions
- 1 tbsp. green pepper
Mix mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Place in the refrigerator for one hour to chill.
- Crab Meat
1. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Sautee green pepper and onion.
3. Throw in imitation crab meat and cook for at least 3 minutes, and remove.
- Preparing the Salad
In a large bowl, mix your cooked crab meat and stir with the dressing until all the meat is well-coated. Place in a refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
Tips for a Delicious Crab Salad
- Imitation crab meat is mostly presented as crab sticks. Separate the meat in the crab sticks by shredding them into flakes. Thaw frozen crab sticks by submerging the packaging in running water. Once the meat is unfrozen, pick the sticks apart and tear the meat into smaller flakes.
- Finely chop red onions so they don’t overpower the flavors of the crab meat.
- You can add other ingredients to your crab salad, such as diced cucumber, fresh dill, and even other seafood like shrimp.
Crab Louie Salad
The Crab Louie Salad, or also known as the King of Salads is a popular salad that’s similar to the recipe above but with a little extra ingredient: hard-boiled eggs. The recipe for this salad is known to have originated in the early 1900s and was famously served at Solari’s in San Francisco since 1914.
Some historians also say that this salad was named after King Louis XIV, who was known for his huge appetite. Some also credit the recipe to the chef at Seattle’s Olympic Club in Washington.
History aside, the recipe has withstood time, and today, it remains one of the most beloved salads in the US. A typical Crab Louie Salad consists of crab meat, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, lettuce, and Louis dressing.
Here is our simple Crab Louis Salad Recipe:
Crab Salad Ingredients
- Crab Meat
1 lb. Dungeness crab meat
3 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
2 hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges
1 whole lemon cut into wedges
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup green pepper
2 tsp. parsley
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Crab Salad Instructions:
- In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing and rest aside.
- Cook your Dungeness crab meat for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix all of your ingredients together until all meat, eggs, and vegetables are well coated. Place in the refrigerator for one hour and serve.
Crab salad is a simple, quick, and delicious dish to make for any meal. Serve it as is or serve it in a sandwich, with lettuce or crackers, or as a pasta salad and enjoy.