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.
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.
What about you, do you like to add a protein such as chicken, prawn, and eggs to your salads?
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.
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 variety where you don’t need to peel. We don’t peel our cucumbers in Europe because the skin is sweet. The cucumbers in India, for example, have to be peeled because the skin is bitter. There is another science about cucumbers where you need to cut off the ends and rub from the other end of the cut cucumber parts. But that’s for another post.
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.
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!
Kani Salad – How to make Kani Salad below:
- 1 Cucumber (about 120 grams, 4.2 oz)
- 1 Carrot (about 50 grams, 1.8 oz)
- fresh Lettuce Leaves (about 15 grams, 0,5 oz)
- 4 Tablespoon Corn kernels
- 3-4 Surimi Sticks or 3-4 Tablespoons Crab meat (try to get fresh crab meat if you can!)
- 2½ Tablespoons regular Mayonnaise
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Salt & Pepper to season
- 2½ Tablespoon Japanese Mayonnaise
- Panko Crumbs (optional)
- Peel the cucumber and carrot and then grate through a rough grater or use your peeler to peel thin slices of cucumber and carrot. Place into a salad bowl
- Cut your lettuce into thin strips lengthwise and add to the salad bowl together with the corn.
- Cut your Surimi crab sticks lengthwise into thin strips too and add them to the salad bowl.
- Mix the whole content of the salad bowl well.
- To make the dressing mix the regular mayo with lime juice salt and pepper.
- Serve the salad cooled. Top with some panko crumbs if you want and pour the salad dressing over the salad.
Similiar to the Kani Salad:
Dear reader, what do you like to add to your kani salad?
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