We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Kani Salad?

By Glyn Sinclair
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Kani salad is a Japanese salad that is primarily composed of imitation crab sticks. The “crab” is actually made up of white fish that is condensed into sticks and is quite a bit cheaper that actual crab meat. Kani salad is served in most Japanese restaurants with other ingredient such as cucumber, mango and panko, which is a crispy bread crumbs, and tends to be a bit spicy. The panko is typically sprinkled as a garnish just prior to serving so that it does not become too soggy. The dish is usually served cold.

Preparing and cooking kani salad generally takes about 30 minutes. Some of the other ingredients for the dressing include chili sauce, carrots, ginger, rice vinegar and mayonnaise. Sugar, salt and paprika may also be added. Once the dressing ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together, the imitation crab is placed in a bowl with peeled cucumber. The dressing is then poured over the crab and cucumber and mixed together.

Once the kani salad is ready it is sometimes served over a bed of lettuce and the panko is sprinkled over the top. The imitation crab sticks, or surimi, are composed of white fish such as Alaska pollock or cod that has been finely ground and then cured and molded to resemble crab legs. Sometimes egg whites are added for flavoring. Food coloring is also added to give the imitation crab legs a reddish hue to complete the imitation. Once the imitation crab is complete, it can have almost the same texture, smell and taste of the real thing.

There are many different types of salad that include imitation crab. It tends to have less cholesterol but is are also processed. This refers to natural food that has been processed to last longer or look more visually attractive to buyers.

Surimi is a popular food in Asia and can be used to duplicate the taste and look of lobster and many other types of shellfish as well. In European countries imitation crab sticks are known as crab or fish sticks, whereas in the United States it is known as imitation or mock crab. Two to three percent of the world’s fish catches are given over to the manufacturing of surimi with North America and Japan as the chief consumers and producers of the product. Many other countries across the world are beginning to produce and consume surimi for kani salad as well.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By Perdido — On Jan 03, 2013

@DylanB – My favorite restaurant lets you choose between spicy and non-spicy kani salad. I suppose a lot of their customers can't take the heat!

I always get the non-spicy version. It has plenty of flavor from the ginger and rice wine, so it really doesn't need to be hot.

Mine doesn't have bread crumbs on it. Maybe the crumbs are made to be spicy, so they leave them off.

By DylanB — On Jan 02, 2013

Is all kani salad spicy, or do different restaurants have various versions of it? I would like to try it, but I can't handle spicy food. I love the taste of crab, though.

By cloudel — On Jan 01, 2013

I don't like fish or any seafood, so kani salad is disgusting to me. It looks so slithery and slimy!

I always opt for the garden salad at the Japanese place instead. It has an excellent ginger dressing, but it doesn't contain any seafood. It's just tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and dressing.

I imagine that the same sort of dressing is used on the kani salad that my friend always orders. She says it is the best salad she's ever tried, but I know I would hate it.

By healthy4life — On Jan 01, 2013

Wow! I always thought that kani salad was made of real crab meat. I've been eating it for years without knowing the difference.

The strips of crab are colored red, pink, and white, so they look real. They taste real, too.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.