This delicious Kani Salad is flavorful and simple. Made with imitation crab, veggies, mango, and a homemade dressing, this salad tastes great on its own or served with sushi.
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Kani Salad Recipe Details
I love this Kani Salad for its perfect blend of flavors and textures. The dressing used is so tasty, but also really simple to make.
- TASTE: The umami flavors of the dressing blend perfectly with the fresh flavors of the vegetables, sweet fruit, and surimi.
- TEXTURE: Flaky imitation crab, crisp cucumber and carrots, juicy mango, and creamy dressing, this Kani Salad has it all.
- TIME: This Kani Salad will only take you 20 minutes to make.
- EASE: This is such an easy recipe to make. It’s simple, quick, and goes well with lots of sushi and seafood dishes.
What You’ll Need
- For the dressing: Japanese mayonnaise, Sriracha, Soy sauce, Seasoned rice vinegar, Salt, and Black pepper
- For the salad: Imitation crab sticks, Carrot, Persian cucumbers, and Mango
How to Make Kani Salad
- Make the mayo dressing. In a bowl, add the Japanese mayonnaise, Sriracha, soy sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Use a small whisk to combine everything together thoroughly. Set aside.
- Slice and de-seed the cucumbers. Now slice the Persian cucumbers in half and remove the seeds. Then cut the cucumbers into thin slices.
Pro Tip: Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds from the Persian cucumbers. This method is easy and doesn’t waste any of the flesh of the cucumber.
- Shred the imitation crab. Now shred the imitation crab meat. Then slice the carrot and mango into thin strips.
- Combine. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, including the spicy mayo dressing. Then use tongs to mix everything together. Enjoy this Kani salad chilled.
- Use a sharp knife- This recipe requires a lot of cutting and thin slicing so choose a sharpened knife to make the work easier and more precise.
- Use Japanese mayo- This mayonnaise uses only egg yolks so it has a fuller flavor than regular mayo, and a custard-like texture. This will add great flavor to your dressing.
- Slice all the ingredients similarly– For looks, but also to enjoy all the flavors of this Kani Salad in each bite, slice the mango, vegetables, and crab to similar sizes and thicknesses.
- Use tongs to combine- Because of the stick shapes, tongs are the best tool for mixing this salad thoroughly.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Add other seafood- You can add shrimp tempura or tobiko (fish roe) to this dish for extra flavor and protein. The tempura also adds a nice crunch!
- Substitute real crab- Using real crab meat in place of the imitation crab is just as delicious and a great way to upscale this recipe. Keep in mind that the texture will change as real crab won’t slice into sticks.
- Make it spicier- If you like your seafood spicy, make this Kani Salad with an extra dose of Sriracha or use your favorite hot sauce.
- Deconstruct it- For a creamier salad, lay the sliced carrot, cucumber, and mango on the bottom of the plate, toss the crab in dressing, and then add it on top. This gives you some bites with just creamy crab.
“Kani” is the Japanese word for crab, so this is basically a crab salad. It is typically made with crab sticks, a spicy mayonnaise-based dressing, and vegetables like cucumber and carrot. Tobiko and panko breadcrumbs are added for texture.
Imitation crab is made from surimi, which is minced fish meat (usually pollock) that is combined with other ingredients, heated, and formed into crab-like pieces. The look and taste is almost the same as real crab meat.
This Kani Salad is spicy, sweet, creamy, and crunchy. It’s perfectly versatile so you can eat it with lots of different dishes.
- Toppings: You can top this Kani Salad with some Panko breadcrumbs for extra crunchiness, or tobiko for a salty burst with each bite.
- Sushi: Serve this alongside these California Roll Sushi Bowls, Easy Sushi Bake, or any of your favorite rolls or sashimi.
- Noodles: This Kani Salad can be paired with noodles, like this Shrimp Tempura Udon Soup or Chow Mein (VIDEO).
- Tempura: Light crisp tempura dishes are delicious with this creamy, crunchy salad. Try this Chicken Tempura or Crispy Shrimp Tempura.
Make This Kani Salad in Advance
Make ahead: You can prepare the dressing for this salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to combine it with the other ingredients.
Storing: Store any leftover Kani Salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze: While you can freeze imitation crab meat, the rest of the ingredients don’t do as well. I advise making this salad fresh when you want to serve it.
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Full Recipe Instructions
- 16 ounces imitation crab sticks
- 1 medium carrot
- 2-3 small Persian cucumbers
- 1 ripe mango
- Now slice 2 small Persian cucumbers in half and remove the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon. Then slice the cucumbers into thin slices.
- Now shred 16 ounces of imitation crab meat. Then slice 1 medium carrot and 1 mango into thin strips.
- Add all the ingredients into a large bowl, including the spicy mayo dressing. Then use tongs to mix everything together. Enjoy this Kani salad chilled. You can also top it with some Panko breadcrumbs for extra crunchiness.