How to make a kani salad

BY : Bebs | Published: 08/26/ 2019 | Updated: 06/13/ 2020 | 7 Comments

How to make a kani salad

This quick and easy Kani Salad recipe is quite refreshing with sweet notes from ripe mangoes that is a contrast to the lightly savory flavors of Kani and creamy Japanese mayo.

How to make a kani salad

Contrary to popular notion, Kani Salad is not a traditional Japanese dish. Like many other dishes, it actually first became popular in the US. Commonly served at Japanese-American sushi restaurants that spread to other parts of the world. The main star of this dish is, of course, the Kani, hence the name.

What is Kani?

Kani is popularly known as an imitation crab meat usually found on various Japanese dishes such as sushi. Kani actually means “crab” in Japanese, and the imitation crab meat that we eat is called Kani Kamaboko or simply Kanikami. Regardless of that, Kani became a widely accepted term for imitation crab meat.

These imitation crab meat are made from white fishes such as Pollock, processed to become a paste called surimi. They are made to taste close to real crab. Each crab stick can be shredded easily and is artificially-colored in red, externally, to mimic the crab’s leg and appearance.

Kani is cheaper than the real crab meat, but, of course, imitation crab can’t compete to the real crab’s nutrition. These crab sticks can be brought on almost all local grocery stores, and are sold already cooked. It is used as an ingredient in various Japanese dishes and street foods and is used worldwide.

What is Kani Salad made of?

How to make a kani salad

Making Kani Salad really requires simple ingredients. A typical Kani Salad includes imitation crab sticks, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and Japanese mayo.
But if you want to bring it to another level, here are some of the ingredients that you can add:

Mango-adds sweet, juicy taste to your Kani Salad. For best punch, use a perfectly ripe mango and slice it into strips
Avocado-brings healthy goodness. Avocado adds a thick, creamy, buttery taste to your Kani Salad
Kelp Noodles-a glassy noodle made from kelp (sea vegetable) and water. Kelp noodles are light but filling to the tummy.
Corn kernels-adds a juicy, crunchy texture to your Kani Salad

For another added flare you can add some toppings :

Tobiko-a red-orange Japanese fish roe that adds additional seafood taste to your Kani Salad
Sesame Seeds-black sesame seeds will make a great contrast while adding a nutty and crunchy texture to your Kani Salad
Panko-a Japanese type of breadcrumbs that are processed to be flakes. It adds crunchy, crispy texture to your Kani Salad.
Gomashio-a Japanese seasoning made from sesame seeds and salt. It adds a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to your Kani Salad

This Kani Salad recipe though is very simple. I only added ripe mango to give it a fuller flavor, that is sweet, savory with a hint of tanginess.

How to make a kani salad

How to make Kani Salad?

  1. Peel the carrots and trim off the ends. Cut into 2 or about 3-inch long. Cut into julienne. Do the same with the cucumber leaving the core with seeds to discard.How to make a kani salad
  2. Shred the crab sticks by hand by gently pressing a piece from end to end to loosen the strips and then separate each strip from one another.How to make a kani salad
  3. Peel the ripe mango. Cut the flesh into thin slices until you reach the core. Do the same to the other side of the core. Stack the slices together and cut into strips.How to make a kani salad
  4. In a large bowl, add the cucumber, carrots, Kani, mango and Japanese mayo. Squeeze the juices of half a lemon on top and toss.
  5. Season with salt and pepper as needed and give it another toss until all ingredients are well blended.How to make a kani salad
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready. Serve on top of a bed of iceberg or romaine lettuce.

How to make a kani salad

No Japanese Mayo? No problem.

I tried to compare regular mayonnaise to Japanese mayonnaise to find out the difference. I find that Japanese mayonnaise has a stronger egg flavor. Well, that is because they use only egg yolks in making them. It is also slightly tangier because they use apple cider or rice vinegar. Lastly, it has that rich ‘umami’ taste that you cannot find from regular mayo.

If you cannot find Japanese Mayonnaise, the next best thing you can do is make a regular mayonnaise taste almost like it. Just add a little apple cider vinegar and a bit of soy sauce to regular mayonnaise.

Published: Jul 22, 2017 · Modified: Feb 10, 2021 by Helene Dsouza

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Total Time: 5 minutes

How to make a kani salad

I absolutely adore Kani Salad! This juicy Japanese salad is prepared with only a few vegetables & delicious crab meat.

It tastes great and it’s super easy to prepare Kani salad from scratch at home. I can’t stop eating it at times. ?

Learn how to make Kani salad with the step by step instructions further below.

How to make a kani salad

Salads are great during summer time with other main dishes as a side.

Therefore, salads turn out to be on the very lighter side, without any proteins.

Yet, I do adore a good salad with a protein such as chicken, prawns or egg.

Sometimes I prepare a salad and over the course of the day, I just open the fridge and have a few bites.

This is why I need a protein in my food.

Kani salad is one of those salads, which I tend to make and keep in the fridge to enjoy the rest of the day or I make it when I have visitors.

The easy to remember word “Kani” means crab in Japanese.

Most probably if you are a sushi fan or a general Japanese food fan like me, you will have come across this tasteful salad.

Kani salad is easy to like if you are into seafood, creamy salad and/or crab meat in general.

It’s a good compromise, you have a light salad but with a protein, and it will tempt you to have more after each bite.

Therefore, the crab salad makes a filling lunch or a refreshing side salad with other main dishes.

In fact, I have enjoyed Kani salad with western dishes too such as Schnitzel, Quiche Lorraine and Parchment baked Salmon.

How to make a kani salad

Ingredients

The main ingredients for a Kani salad include colorful match-stick-cut carrots, fresh cucumber, and crunchy lettuce.

For the Cucumber try to get the cucumber that isn’t too bitter.

If the cucumber is bitter you need to peel it.

For the Carrot. If you can get the red juicy carrots, those would be perfect for this salad!

I couldn’t get them so I had to use regular carrots

For the Lettuce try to get a crunchy variety such as Ice Berg salad.

I used the normal green lettuce for this Kani salad because the iceberg salad wasn’t in season.

The dressing is usually made with Japanese mayonnaise, which is sour and sweet and not like the regular tube mayonnaise.

For the dressing, I usually just mix some lemon juice to the mayonnaise and I add salt and pepper.

Of course, there are different versions of Kani salads out there and I must admit that over time I started to prepare my own variation of Kani salad.

I like to add a splash of color to my food and especially salads.

So, I also add corn to my Kani salad because I like that little juicy crunch and flavor of corn in the crab salad.

Adding corn to Kani salad just makes the salad all the richer in flavor and color.

How to make a kani salad

If you can’t get fresh crab meat, just as I don’t, then you can use Surimi or worst case canned crab meat or crab lumps.

I don’t get too often fresh crab meat but I always have some surimi crab sticks in my freezer, so I use surimi sticks for my kani salad.

The imitation crab sticks are flavor intense and easy to handle with this salad.

You will love surimi is you are into easy to handle seafood.

Surimi makes a good inexpensive source of Protein, which is just another good reason for you to use this versatile ingredient in your food preparation.

I have another surimi crab salad but with Curry Mayo Dressing.

If you get fresh crab meat, then please by all means just go ahead and use fresh crab meat for this kani salad.

Always use fresh quality crab meat over other options if possible!

The Kani Salad dressing is a mayo-lemon juice dressing.

Yet, you can also switch the mayo dressing and use a yum yum sauce as a kani salad dressing to pimp your kani salad!

Similar to the Kani Salad:

  • Shrimp Louie Salad and Dressing
  • Caprese Salad

How to make a kani salad

Dear reader, what do you like to add to your kani salad?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!

How to make a kani salad

Today we’re going to make Japanese easy Kani Salad recipe. Kani Salad is very refreshing with sweet touch of ripe mangoes in contrast to the light and savory flavors of Kani and Japanese mayo that is very creamy.

Despite the popular notion, Kani Salad is not a conventional Japanese meal. As a number of other dishes, it really first became popular in the United States. Usually served at Japanese sushi restaurants that spread to other areas of the globe. The key element with this salad is, needless to say, the Kani.

What’s Kani?

Kani is widely known as a replica of crab meat usually available on lots of Japanese dishes such as for example sushi. Kani really means “crab” in Japanese language, and the imitation crab meat that people eat is named Kani Kamaboko or just Kanikami. Regardless of this, Kani is a widely accepted name for imitating the crab meat.

These replica crab meats are produced from white fishes such as for example Pollock, made to become a paste called surimi. They are created to taste near to real crab. Each crab stick could be shredded easy and is colored in red, artificially and externally, to imitate the crab’s legs and appearance.

Kani is less expensive compared to crab meat, but, needless to say, mimicking crab can’t compete to the actual crab’s nutrition. These crab sticks could be found on virtually all local food markets, and can be purchased already cooked. It’s used as an element in a variety of Japanese dishes and street foods and is used all over the globe.

Making this Kani Salad really needs simple ingredients. An average Kani Salad contains imitation of crab sticks, lettuce, iceberg, carrot, cucumber, and of course Japanese mayo. But when you wish to take it to another level, listed below are a few of the things that you can include:

Ingredients you can use with Kani Salad

  • Mango: it adds to the sweetness, nice taste to your Kani Salad. For ultimate punch, work with a> perfect, ripe mango, sliced it into strips.
  • Avocado: makes it even more healthier. Avocado brings a heavy, buttery and creamy taste to your Kani Salad.
  • Kelp Noodles: produced from kelp (it’s a sea vegetable) and water. Kelp noodles are tasty but light for your stomach.
  • Corn kernels: are crunchy in texture, and they add juiciness to Kani Salad.

For Kani Salad Toppings

  • Tobiko: Japanese fish roe that adds to the sea-food taste in your Kani Salad.
  • Black Sesame Seeds: could make a good contrast while adding a crunchy and nutty texture to your Kani Salad
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Japanese form of breadcrumbs which are processed to be like flakes. Panko adds crunchy and crispy texture to your Kani Salad.
  • Gomashio: a seasoning from Japan, produced from sesame seeds and salt. Gomashio will add to a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to this Kani Salad.

Recipe for this Kani Salad is extremely easy. The only addition to it is ripe mango to provide it a richer flavor, that’s sweet, savory with a touch of tanginess.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer here.

This is a light and creamy kani cucumber salad with sweet and salty flavors your whole family will love – and it only takes 10 minutes to make from start to finish!

How to make a kani salad

I just finished watching Master of None on Netflix, and it got me thinking about how hard it must have been for my mother to adapt living in Canada. She came from the southern region of Japan where temperatures rarely dip below the forties, to Canadian winters where three feet of snow won’t close any schools.

Adding to that was the language barrier – she couldn’t speak a word of French, and to make matters worse, had no access to Japanese food. Zilch, nada, zero.

This was back in the ’70s when shopping online was inconceivable and long distance calls cost two dollars a minute.

The closest Japanese supermarket was a two hour drive away so whenever we made a trip there, it was serious business. We would stock up on rice , kombu , soy sauce and other Japanese pantry essentials, I would get my favorite Botan rice and Milky candy , and we would end the morning by having lunch at a sushi restaurant.

The menu was simple and consisting of traditional Japanese food. One dish I clearly remember loving was kani salad. I liked it so much that I asked my mother to make it at home.

How to make a kani salad

And as always, her version ended up being 10 times better than the restaurant’s.

This kani salad (kani means crab in Japanese) is a great example of how brilliant she was (and still is) in the kitchen, and why everyone always wanted to come over to our place for dinner! She had a knack for whipping up dishes that were very simple yet, beautiful and delicious.

To this day, I feel very lucky to have been exposed to such great food at such a young age. I’ve learned from the best!

How to make a kani salad

How To Make Kani Salad

Making a Japanese crab salad is about the easiest thing to whip up. It only takes 10 minutes to make and 7 ingredients:

  • English cucumber
  • Imitation crab
  • Shallot
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Ground black pepper

Start by peeling half of the cucumber and slice it on the thinnest setting on a mandolin. You can also do this using a knife. Then grab the cucumber slices, place them in the palm of your hand and squeeze out the excess liquid.

Add them to a mixing bowl along with the imitation crab and shallots.

In a separate bowl, whisk in the mayonnaise, vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper and pour the mixture over the cucumber, crab and shallots. Toss well and serve!

I especially love this salad when it’s cold so I recommend making it a little ahead of time so it has time to chill in the fridge.

Spicy Kani Salad

Making a spicy kani salad is pretty much the same as making a regular one. The only difference is the addition of sriracha sauce.

For this recipe, I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce. Give it a taste and add more if you like more heat.

How to make a kani salad

What you will end up with is one tasty crab salad recipe you won’t be able to stop eating!

It’s light, creamy, crunchy, sweet, savory and peppery – and makes a wonderful side dish, snack or appetizer.

Kani Salad Sushi

Why not add it to your next sushi rolls!

I have an easy spicy tuna roll recipe that can be used as a base for kani salad sushi. Follow the steps to make the rice and rolls and swap the spicy tuna filling for the kani salad one. Just make sure to finely chop the crab and cucumber salad before using it in rolls otherwise it will be too chunky to fit in a roll.

You can also add a few mango slices for sweetness!

Other simple Japanese dishes:

  • Omurice
  • California roll + spicy California roll
  • Miso ramen
  • Agedashi tofu
  • Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza)

How to make a kani saladHow to make a kani saladHow to make a kani salad

Did you like this Kani Salad Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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How to make a kani salad

Kani Salad – カニ サラダ

How to make a kani salad

5 from 3 reviews

This is a light and creamy Japanese crab salad that can be served as a side or a snack. Ready in just 10 minutes!

  • Author:Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1 x
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 English cucumber (sliced thin, using a mandolin on its thinnest setting)
  • 3 ounces imitation crab (finely chopped lengthwise)
  • 2 tablespoons shallot (minced)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Spicy Kani Salad:

  • Use all the ingredients from above plus 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce or more.

Instructions

  1. Take cucumber slices in the palm of your hands and squeeze out as much water as you can – be careful not to break the slices.
  2. Put cucumber, imitation crab and shallot in a bowl and briefly toss.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk mayonnaise, cider vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper, until smooth. Add sriracha sauce at this point if you are making the spicy version.
  4. Add mayo dressing to the cucumber, crab and shallot mix and stir well, until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Serve.

Notes

This Kani Salad will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

I find Japanese mandolins to be easier and safer to use as they are easier to handle for smaller hands.

Keywords: recipe, appetizer, side, snack, easy

How to make a kani salad

Spicy Kani Salad Recipe: A sushi shop favorite you can make at home! Kani Salad tastes just like the dish you order at your neighborhood Japanese restaurant.

How to make a kani salad

Balance

Let’s talk about this Kani Salad, but first balance…

Japanese food is an enigma. A delicate balance between the overcooked and the uncooked, between the overly seasoned and the unseasoned… A balance of extremes. Japanese cuisine reflects its culture. A graceful symmetry between the old and the new. A level scale holding on to the past and pressing into the future.

A close friend of mine lived in Japan for the last couple of years and talks about these extremes. She tells of their home high in the mountains, bitter cold in winter due to no insulation. Yet they had fiber optic internet, go figure. In Japan, balance doesn’t mean duplication; it means hot and cold dancing together in perfect rhythm.

I like balance. A lot. I would say it is one of my utmost goals in life. To give myself completely to the purposes and people I hold dear, yet not choose one over the other. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in one pursuit, one relationship, or one mindset, and allow others to suffer.

I want my life to be bold, yet reserved. Graceful, yet edgy. Wise, yet adventurous. Complex, yet simple. Ah balance, sometimes you are nowhere in sight!

Thankfully every morning is a fresh chance to step out on that tightrope again.

How to make a kani salad

Kani Salad Recipe

I appreciate Japanese cuisine because I feel it encapsulates this concept. Extreme textures and flavors coming together in harmony.

Spicy Kani Salad is a tribute to balance: cool and spicy, silky and crisp, sweet and tart, light, and filling.

The spicy dressing caresses the smooth cooling ribbons of cucumber, crab meat and mango, sprinkled with crunchy panko. A symphony of contradiction in every bite.

Our Spicy Kani Salad Recipe with mango is a nod to a sushi bar fav favorite. Now you can make it at home!

What is Kani?

Kani is the Japanese word for crab however when used it is usually referring to imitation crab meat.

For this Kani salad recipe, you can use either real crab or imitation crab. Although the imitation is more true to the recipe and has a distinctly different flavor than the real kind.

How to make a kani salad

How to Make Kani Salad

How to make a kani salad

See The Recipe Card Below For How To Make Spicy Kani Salad. Enjoy!

Here are my little Spicy Kani Salad eaters. Sweet, spunky and always helping mommy search for her balance.

Colorful and light, this Kani Salad will be a hit as an appetizer.

If you have kids, I think they will like it too – just let them help with the prep. They can peel the crab sticks, while you slice the veggies and mix the dressing. Then when it’s ready, have them practice their chopstick skills to toss the salad. When kids assist in dinner, they not only learn basic cooking skills, but also become more willing to try new foods they helped create.

Kani Salad (Japanese Crab Salad)
by SeasonWithSpice
Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients:
1 package crab sticks (surimi)
1 English cucumber – peeled, then sliced into thin matchsticks
1 carrot – peeled, then sliced into thin matchsticks
A few leaves of romaine or iceberg lettuce – shredded
1 tbsp of Season with Spice’s Japanese Sesame Seasoning (gomashio)

Dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise (try Japanese Kewpie brand)
2 tsp rice vinegar, or lemon juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Optional add-ons:
Mango – thinly shredded
Sweet corn kernels

Method:
1. Use your hands to peel the crab sticks into thin strips. Then add them into a large bowl along with the cucumber, carrot, and lettuce. Toss well.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat evenly. Have a taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. When ready to serve, top with Japanese Sesame Seasoning and gently toss again.

Published: Jul 24, 2021 В· Modified: Jul 27, 2021 by Bintu В· This post may contain affiliate links.

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Spicy Crab Salad is a favorite of sushi lovers and those who frequent Japanese steakhouses. This simple Kani salad recipe is loaded with crab meat, mango, and veggies. Perfect for serving as a side dish or a light meal.

Suitable for low carb diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

How to make a kani salad

I love ordering Sushi take-out, and while I have a list of my favorites, I like to take the opportunity to try new things from the menu.

When I first tried Kani salad, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was soooooo tasty, and I knew I wanted to recreate this recipe at home. And I did, just like with this Yum Yum Sauce and Hibachi Chicken.

Table of Contents

What Is Kani Salad?

‘Kani’ is Japanese for ‘crab.’ Kani Salad is a spicy salad made with imitation crab meat, carrots, cucumber, mango and crunchy breadcrumbs and topped with a spicy mayonnaise dressing. It’s a favorite dish at sushi restaurants and Japanese steakhouses.

This spicy Kani salad recipe is so good, and because it’s made fresh, it tastes even better than the salad at my local restaurant. What’s more, it’s so easy to make so you can enjoy it any time you like.

How to make a kani salad

Why Make This Recipe

  • Simple – If you can slice and peel fruits and veggies and whisk ingredients, you can make this Kani salad recipe; no cooking required.
  • Refreshing – This salad is light and refreshing and loaded with fruits and vegetables in addition to the crab meat.
  • Money-Saving – Save money by skipping take-out and making this Spicy Kani Salad at home.

Ingredient Notes

  • Mayonnaise – Use real mayonnaise or substitute a low-fat mayo for a lighter version of this recipe.
  • Sriracha – Sriracha adds spice to this salad. You can omit it or reduce the amount if you prefer less spice.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar – This mild and slightly sweet vinegar can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store.
  • Sugar – Balances the heat of the sriracha.
  • Salt – Salt helps to bring out all of the flavors in this Kani salad recipe.
  • Imitation Crab – You can find this with the fresh seafood. Substitute real crab meat if you prefer.
  • Carrots – Peel and julienne fresh carrots or purchase matchstick carrots.
  • Cucumber – Be sure to peel and deseed before slicing into sticks.
  • Mango – Look for the ripest mango you can find.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – These traditional Japanese-style breadcrumbs are thicker and crunchier than traditional breadcrumbs.

How to make a kani salad

Ready to make this Japanese Crab Salad? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Spicy Kani Salad

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Combine mayonnaise, sriracha, vinegar, sugar, and salt to make the dressing and set it aside.
  2. Prepare the crab, mango, carrots and cucumber and add them to a large bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing into the salad bowl, and toss to combine.
  4. Garnish with panko, sesame seeds, and green onions.

How to make a kani salad

Expert Tips

  • Try to cut all of your vegetables and fruit into similar-sized sticks.
  • If making ahead, don’t add the panko in advance. Wait until just before serving.
  • Persian or Lebanese cucumbers will be less watery.
  • You may find it easier to pull the crab into strips (like you would with string cheese) rather than cutting it into strips.

How to make a kani salad

Delicious Variations

  • Add Avocado – Sliced avocado adds a creamy texture and nice flavor.
  • Add Fish Roe – Tobiko adds a nice crunch and flavor.
  • Make A Lettuce Wrap – Scoop the salad into lettuce leaves and serve as a lettuce wrap.
  • Chop The Ingredients -– Usually, the ingredients in this salad are julienned. Chop the ingredients instead and serve with corn chips for a unique seafood dip.
  • Top With Sesame Seeds – Toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds make a nice topping.

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – You can make this salad in advance and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  • Store – This salad should be covered tightly and may be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze – Freezing is not recommended as the vegetables will become mushy.

How to make a kani salad

Imitation Crab Meat is made from mild white fish, usually, pollock, which is processed into a paste and then formed into crab sticks. It flakes much like real crab meat.

Yes. You can substitute real crab meat, but it will increase the overall cost of this salad.

This salad is perfect for those following a low carb diet, but the mayonnaise adds fat and calories. Use a low-fat mayo for a healthier version of this salad recipe.

How to make a kani salad

Serving Suggestions and More Recipes You May Like

  • Hibachi Fried Rice.
  • Instant pot Hibachi Chicken.
  • Hibachi Shrimp.
  • Teriyaki Salmon.
  • Yum Yum Sauce.

Weight Watchers Points

There are 6 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my Spicy Kani Salad recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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Don’t forget to tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter if you try Spicy Kani Salad ! It is really, really awesome for me when you make one of my recipes and I’d love to see it. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thank you for reading Recipes from a Pantry.

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Kani Salad

How to make a kani salad
This kani salad recipe (courtesy of my cousin Chana, a great hostess!) converted me into a mock-crab fan. It’s that good. If you go back to this post, you can read in my own words how much I used to dislike those orange colored surimi sticks. I’d always pick them out of California sushi rolls. But not anymore. Does the idea of eating mock-crab freak you out too? Well then do yourself a favor and make this salad. Trust me, you’ll never look back!

I’m not the only one who’s gaga over this recipe. I had my friend Dina and her family over during the holidays, and I served this among the appetizers. I hadn’t known, but apparently Dina and her husband have sampled kani salad at just about every kosher restaurant in (and out of) town. They were excited to see how this recipe would measure up to their favorite. Not only did it measure up, it exceeded their expectations by far. In fact, they no longer order it at restaurants, they make it at home instead!

There’s just something about the stringy texture and spicy dressing that makes you want to eat it all up with chopsticks. And chopsticks are fun. So, if you’re looking for a colorful, spicy and delicious dish, give this kani salad a try!

How to make a kani salad

How to make a kani salad

How to make a kani salad

1 pkg mock crab surimi sticks, cut or pulled apart into thin strips
1 English cucumbers, jullienned (see tip)
1/3 cup mayo
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1-2 tbsp sriracha
2 tsp black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup Rice Krispies or french fried onions

Add kani and cucumber to a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine mayo, rice vinegar, sriracha and sesame seeds. Pour dressing over kani salad and mix. Garnish with additional sesame seeds and Rice Krispies.

NOTE: Sriracha is an Asian hot sauce, typically made from chili peppers, vinegar, sugar and salt. I prefer my kani salad to be spicy so I use 2 tbsp.

TIP: The simplest method to julienne a cucumber is by using a julienne peeler. First, I cut the cucumber in half so that I can get shorter pieces (you don’t want your strips the entire length of the cucumber). Then, I peel the cucumber all around, once for the peel, and another time around the inside. I discard the rest. If you don’t have a julienne peeler, cut the cucumber lengthwise, and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumber in half so that you have 2 u-shaped pieces. Place the cucumber face-down on the cutting board and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Keep the slices stacked and cut the stacks into thin strips.

VARIATION: If it’s too hard for you to cut the crab and cucumbers into sticks, you can dice them up instead.