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Crab Salad Recipe Sushi: Easy Japanese Kani Salad with a Spicy Twist

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, chances are you’ve come across the delicious crab salad that often accompanies sushi dishes at Japanese steakhouses and Japanese restaurants. Today, we’re going to introduce you to an easy crab salad recipe sushi style, with a spicy twist that will surely blow your taste buds away!

A colorful bowl of Japanese crab salad, with thinly sliced crab and cucumber pieces mixed in a creamy dressing

Understanding the Crab Salad Recipe: Sushi Style

This Japanese crab salad, often referred to as Kani salad or kanikama salad, is generally made with imitation crab meat or real crab meat, paired with crunchy vegetables like fresh cucumbers. The salad is then tossed in a spicy mayonnaise dressing, giving it a delightful creamy and spicy kick. The main ingredient, whether it’s imitation crab sticks or real crab meat, is often julienned into thin strips to mimic the texture of the julienned cucumber.

Imitation Crab Meat vs. Real Crab Meat

The choice between using imitation crab meat and real crab meat for your sushi crab salad largely depends on your personal preference and budget. Imitation crab meat, also known as Kanikama, is a type of fish cake made primarily from white fish and is typically found in the Asian market or the sushi section of local grocery stores. On the other hand, real crab meat offers a more authentic taste but can often be pricier.

A comparison image showing both imitation crab sticks and real crab meat

The Role of Japanese Mayonnaise

Japanese mayonnaise, specifically Kewpie mayonnaise, plays a crucial role in creating the unique flavor profile of this Japanese-style salad. Unlike regular mayonnaise, Japanese mayonnaise is made with whole eggs instead of just egg yolks, giving it a richer and creamier texture. If you can’t find Kewpie mayonnaise, you can substitute it with regular mayonnaise mixed with a little bit of rice vinegar and lemon juice.

Introducing The Spicy Twist

The spicy twist in this crab salad recipe sushi comes from the addition of a spicy mayo sauce to the salad dressing. This sauce, typically made from Japanese mayonnaise and a hot sauce of your choice, adds an exciting heat to the salad that beautifully complements the cool and crunchy vegetables. Some popular choices for the hot sauce include sriracha or Korean gochujang.

A bowl of spicy mayo sauce next to a bottle of hot sauce

How to Make Your Own Spicy Kani Salad

Creating your own delicious Japanese inspired salad is easy! First, you’ll need to shred the crab sticks into small pieces. You can do this with your hands or with the help of a food processor. Then, mix the crab meat with the sliced cucumbers and corn kernels in a large bowl. For the dressing, simply combine the Japanese mayonnaise with your chosen hot sauce in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well coated. Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds for added crunch, and voila, your easy spicy kani salad recipe is ready to enjoy!

Serving Suggestions for Your Crab Salad Recipe Sushi

There are many different ways you can serve this salad. Some people like to enjoy it on its own as a simple salad, while others prefer to use it as a filling for California rolls or spicy crab rolls. You can also serve it on top of sushi rice for a satisfying sushi bowl. No matter how you choose to serve it, this salad is sure to be a hit!

A plate of sushi rolls filled with spicy kani salad

Storing Your Japanese Kani Salad

If you happen to have any leftovers, you can store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. However, it’s best enjoyed fresh, as the cucumbers may start to lose their crunch after a while. If you’re planning to make it ahead of time, you can store the dressing separately and mix it in just before serving.

Summing Up the Crab Salad Recipe Sushi

Now you have all the knowledge you need to whip up your own spicy Japanese crab salad at home. With its simple ingredients and easy prep time, this recipe is perfect for those who want to enjoy a taste of Japanese cuisine without the need for a sushi mat or bamboo sushi roll. So why not give it a try? You might just discover your new favorite salad!

Sensational Crab Salad Sushi Recipe

Sensational Crab Salad Sushi Recipe

Yield: 2-4 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A delicious homemade crab salad sushi recipe that's not only a healthy option, but also a fun and creative way to enjoy seafood. Perfect for any party or get-together, this sushi recipe is sure to impress your guests!


  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 200g crab meat
  • 1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 4 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • Soy sauce, for serving
  • Pickled ginger, for serving
  • Wasabi, for serving


  1. Start by rinsing the sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Then, combine the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Once the rice is done, gently fold in the vinegar mixture. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, and Sriracha sauce (if using). Mix until well combined.
  4. Once the sushi rice has cooled, lay a sheet of nori on a bamboo sushi mat. Wet your hands with a bit of water and spread a thin layer of sushi rice onto the nori, leaving about 1 inch at the top of the sheet free of rice.
  5. Lay a thin layer of the crab mixture along the bottom third of the rice. Add a few sticks of cucumber and carrot.
  6. Roll the sushi tightly from the bottom up using the bamboo mat, applying a bit of pressure. Once rolled, use a sharp wet knife to slice the roll into bite-size pieces.
  7. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  8. Serve the sushi rolls with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi on the side.


Use fresh, canned, or imitation crab based on your preference. For a vegetarian alternative, substitute crab with tofu or avocado.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 880mgCarbohydrates: 70gNet Carbohydrates: 67gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 20g

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