One of the healthiest ways to enjoy seafood is to make a salad out of it. Crustaceans especially can seem healthier to digest with the simple addition of greens and vinaigrettes. Among my favorites is crab which can be made into a million dishes these days and a simple crab salad is the best example in my book.

Most meat salad recipes are pretty simple to make especially given how the meat is processed, though some of these methods come with awful caveats.

Getting crab meat right

Popularly, people rely on crab sticks for their simplistic crab salad missions. These are solid tubes molded from artificial crab meat primarily consisting of surimi, a fish paste made from everyday fish (mackerel, cod, etc) along with other ingredients that together provide a crab-like flavor for recipes. However, I am not one of these people and for good reason.

The problem with the meat in crab sticks, besides the obvious, is that it lacks the nutritional punch that real crab meat packs for recipes.

Fake crab meat doesn't provide nearly the same amount of vitamins, minerals, and protein that real crab meat does. What's worse is that artificial food additives that it does provide can be damaging to the human body. Hence, crab sticks should be treated the same way as fast food: Avoid at all cost.

For this recipe, real crab meat is a must and this can be easily obtained from canned goods. Although fresh lump crab meat is the best kind when it comes to crab dishes, canned crab meat is the next best thing if you want an easier way to that crab salad as it is widely available and pretty close in quality.

The recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (6 oz each) crab meat
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 small green/red/yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/4 shallot, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 4 tbsp sweet and sour sauce
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Directions

  1. Drain the water from the crab meat by pouring them into a china cap or large sieve. Place into a large bowl.
  2. Wash the celery and bell pepper, then dry them with a paper towel or kitchen cloth. Start by laying the celery onto a green cutting board and cut into 1/2 cm width pieces. Add them to the bowl.
  3. Lay the bell pepper onto a green cutting board. Vertically cut off the top of the bell pepper just below the curve. Slice off the other end below the curve. Slice through one side of the bell pepper, making sure not to cut straight through. Place the blade within the opening created by the slice and slice around the inside to remove the white ribs, seeds, and membrane. Flatten the bell pepper and chop vertically into strips at 1 cm width each. Chop horizontally into 1 cm squares.
  4. Cut off the tip of the shallot and place it sitting on the board on the exposed part. Cut the shallot vertically in half. Place one of the halves lying on its exposed part facing you and cut 1 cm lines vertically across in rows up until the root. Turn the shallot sideways and slice the onion diagonally in half up until the root. Slice the onion 1 cm vertically across the lines up until the root to make cubes. Add the cubes to the bowl.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, making sure to spread them over the contents. Carefully toss them around to combine.
  6. Transfer to a salad bowl and refrigerate for an hour before serving. When ready, garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves: 4-6

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