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Restaurant Style Kani Salad

Restaurant Style Kani Salad

Kani Salad is a tasty Japanese salad of imitation crab, called surimi, and cucumber. It's a popular sushi bar option and has a taste very similar to a great California roll. It's sweet and savory and if you like it can be spicy too!

This is a recipe for a spicy Kani salad but feel free to skip the cayenne pepper for the milder version. It's great either way.

Be sure to use Kewpie Mayo, not american style mayonnaise. Japanese Kewpie Mayo has more egg yolk and is much richer with a flavor that is pretty specific to the sushi bar recipe. If you've already fallen in love with this salad at your favorite Japanese restaurant, chances are you will really notice the difference if you don't use Kewpie.

I shred the surimi sticks by slicing them very thinly lengthwise and then pulling them apart like string cheese. Then I shred a peeled cucumber using a julienne peeler so the shreds are relatively the same in size. 

After adding the rest of the ingredients, I stir to combine them all very well then chill the salad for a bit while I finish up other elements of our meal.

When it's time to serve, I add some Panko and cayenne pepper to the bottom of the martini glasses, top that with a swirl of Kani Salad and then garnish them with a little more Panko and a teaspoonful of Tobiko.

Click through the gallery for a step by step look at this recipe.

Isn't it gorgeous all whirled up in a martini glass? This is the way they often serve it at our local sushi bar. It makes it feel more indulgent and really shows off the lovely colors.

Tobiko is the roe of the tropical Flying Fish. It's brilliant color and crunchy sweet salty bite are a real treat in this dish. You can also use Masago roe and it is used in many Sushi Restaurants because it is relatively less expensive. Masago is the roe of the capelin fish and not a bad substitute.


In this salad I used Tobiko, which is also typically a little bit larger then Masago. Tobiko are like tiny juicy gems that pop when you bite them.

Restaurant Style Kani Salad

Did you like this recipe? I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think!



Restaurant Style Kani Salad

Restaurant Style Kani Salad
Serves 2

6 sticks of Imitation Crab

1 medium cucumber
2 teaspoons sugar

4 teaspoons Tobiko or Masago

1/2 cup Panko Flakes + 2 Tablespoons
3 1/2 tablespoons Kewpie Mayo
2 teaspoons Furikake Seasoning (optional)
dash of salt (optional)

cayenne pepper (optional)



Slice the imitation crab sticks lengthwise with the grain of the fish to create long thin strips.


Use a julienne peeler to shred the cucumber into similar size thin strips.

Combine the imitation crab and cucumber in a bowl and  add 2 teaspoons of Tobiko, the Kewpie Mayo, Furikake seasoning, a dash of salt and cayenne pepper. Mix the Kani salad until well combined.


Chill the Kani Salad until ready to serve.

To Serve:

Divide the Panko between two serving dishes, sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon of Panko into the Kani Salad, divide the salad between the two serving dishes and garnish each with a 1/2 tablespoon of Panko and teaspoon of Tobiko.

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