This crab salad is delightfully creamy without all the extra calories and fat associated with most crab salad recipes. It features a delicious coconut milk dressing which is tossed up with briefly steamed (or boiled) strands of cabbage plus fresh coriander and chopped peanuts or cashews (the nuts are optional). This is a very flexible crab salad recipe that tastes great no matter how you toss it. Canned as well as frozen prepared crab meat works just as well as freshly cooked crab (I used canned crab meat for mine). ENJOY!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
- SERVES 4-6 as a salad side dish (OR 2 as a main entree)
- 6 to 8 oz. prepared crab meat, canned, frozen, or freshly-cooked
- optional: 1 small can (about 4 oz.) small to medium-sized shrimp, drained
- 1/2 cabbage (Savoy OR any other type of round head cabbage)
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, lightly chopped
- 3 green onions, sliced thinly into matchstick-like pieces
- optional: 1 fresh red chili, de-seeded and minced
- optional: 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts OR cashews, chopped
- 1/2 cup good-quality (fairly thick) coconut milk
- 1+1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in the Asian aisle, OR in Asian/Chinese food stores)
- Holding the cabbage firm, cut large round slices along one side of the cabbage, about 1/2 an inch thick. Lay each round of cabbage down and slice it thinly to create strands. Half of a cabbage should give you 3-4 cups of shredded vegetable.
- Briefly boil or steam the shredded cabbage for 2-3 minutes. Drain and place in a large salad bowl.
- Add the crab meat and shrimp (if using) to the bowl. Also add the green onion, most of the fresh chili (if using), most of the peanuts (if using), and most of the fresh coriander, reserving a little of each for the garnish.
- Stir together all the dressing ingredients in a cup or small bowl. Taste-test it. If you prefer your dressing a little saltier, add more fish sauce. If you prefer it spicier (note that it will be less spicy when mixed with the salad), add more chili flakes. If you prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar. If too salty or too sweet, add more lime juice.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately (at room temperature), or place in the refrigerator and serve cold later (just be sure to re-toss before serving). Garnish with the reserved coriander, fresh chili and peanuts (if using). ENJOY!