I was initially going to call this crab salad but I didn’t want purists looking for the real deal come pounding at my door. Kani kama, or more commonly known as imitation crab, is processed from surimi which is a gelatinous paste made with white fleshed fish (most often pollock), other fish products such as extracts from crab, oysters and/or shrimp and additives such as cornstarch, oils, eggs, soy protein and flavorings. Quite similar in taste to real crab yet cheaper in cost and lower in fat and cholesterol, Kani has become a popular alternative for lump crab meat in many dishes such as sushi (California roll, anyone?), soups and salad.
If you’ve never tried Kani Kama before, Kani salad is a delicious way to introduce yourself to the pleasures of this mock crab meat. I like to enjoy this refreshing salad over a crisp bed of lettuce with a dash or two of hot sauce but it’s equally wonderful sandwiched between buttery croissants or slathered over crunchy tostadas. Delicious as a dip, too! Bring this to a potluck with a hefty bag of Ritz crackers or pita chips and you’ve got yourself a party hit.
- 1 pound Kani Kama (imitation crab), flaked
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine imitation crab meat and lime juice. Stir gently and allow to stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery, mayonnaise, sugar, Old bay seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently until well distributed. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.