This spicy crab salad is packed with avocado, red onion and capers all brought together with a little spice for heat.
It is so simple to make in just a few minutes, with just a little chopping and mixing.
Perfect for an elegant starter, lunch or even a filling for a gourmet sandwich!
There are so many variations, and you can even use imitation crab meat too if you prefer and it will still taste delicious.
As an island, the United Kingdom benefits from a wealth of great seafood and I love it all!
Crab season runs from March to October, however, in the summer months the crabs are breeding are growing new shells, so availability drops.
It's not always possible to buy fresh crab locally, but it's widely available online, fresh or frozen, so you can enjoy it all year round.
I like to serve this as a starter to a special meal, such as Christmas or an anniversary, because it's packed with flavour, but is ridiculously easy to make. This means you can make it in advance to save time too.
There are lots of variations to this dish, from the crab to the salad vegetables, so you can use other ingredients that you prefer.
Of course, I've added a little spice with some sriracha sauce, but there are alternatives and the crab salad is equally good without it too, so leave it out if you wish.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Very easy to make with just chopping and mixing.
- Make in advance for stress free entertaining.
- Lots of alternative ingredients.
- Perfect for Christmas, New Year or a special celebration.
- Only 161 calories per portion.
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- Crab - fresh or frozen crab meat. For flavour and texture, it's best to use a mixture of the white claw meat and the rich brown meat.
- Avocado - fresh ripe avocado. I usually buy the ready to eat ones.
- Lemon juice - fresh or from a bottle for flavour and to keep the avocado from turning brown.
- Radishes - for garnish and their peppery crunch.
- Cucumber - English cucumber to garnish the plate.
- Mayonnaise - plain mayonnaise, full fat or reduced. This will bind all of the ingredients together.
- Onion - red onion for colour, crunch and sweetness.
- Capers - these salty little berries are often used in sauces or served with fish. Drain on some kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
- Salt - flaked sea salt for flavour as there is no cooking involved.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Spice - this is such a personal preference. I used sriracha sauce which does vary from brand to brand or you could use Tabasco. The main thing to remember is to add it to taste.
💭 Top Tip
- Avocados need to be ripe, but not mushy for chopping. As a guide, the darker the colour of the skin, the more ripe the avocado. To make sure, give the flesh a gentle squeeze and it should give a little.
- If you find that your avocados are either hard as bullets or too mushy, it's also possible to buy frozen avocado pieces, which are great for salads.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- mixing bowl
- 4 presentation rings - optional
Peel and chop the onion finely.
Cut the cucumber and radish into fine slices.
You could also used a mandolin or fool processor to slice the cucumber if you prefer.
Chop the avocado into rough cubes.
Toss the cubes with the lemon juice.
💭 Top Tip
- Slice around the stone lengthways. I prefer to use a serrated vegetable knife for this for safety.
- Twist the avocado and it should open into 2 halves.
- Carefully remove the stone with a teaspoon.
- Use the knife to slice the avocado into cubes while in the skin.
- Peel off skin carefully or use a blunt knife or spoon to scoop out the cubed flesh.
- If you have a leftover avocado half cover the cut side in lemon juice and wrap in cling film. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Put the crab, avocado, onion, capers, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl.
If you are using sriracha or other spice, mix it together with the mayonnaise before adding to the bowl.
This will make sure that the spice is mixed in evenly.
Stir the mixture gently to combine.
The idea is to not overmix so that the avocado retains its shape and the crab texture is still defined.
Arrange the cucumber slices on a side plate, slightly overlapping.
Use a presentation ring and place in the centre of the cucumber.
Divide the mixture between the rings and press down gently.
💭 Top Tip
- If you don't have presentation rings, line 4 ramekins or small bowls with clig film and fill with the spicy crab salad. Regrigerate and then turn onto the plates just before serving.
Chill until you are ready to serve then garnish with radish slices to serve.
2 hours chilling is ideal if you are serving the salad like this, otherwise you can serve straight away.
🥗 Serve with
A fish starter like this goes well before a meat course.
Try some of these ideas.
- Spider Steak with Tarragon Butter
- Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder
- Simple Roast Gammon
- Roast Rib of Beef
- Jacob's Ladder Beef
- Pheasant and Venison Casserole
- Pheasant Breast with Wild Mushroom Sauce
- Roast Venison Haunch
- Turkey Ballotine
- Roast Partridge
- Cannon of Lamb
- Fresh crab - use tinned crab or frozen crab.
- Red onion - use another variety of sweet onion such as Vidalia or Spanish. Alternatively, use a shallot.
- Spicy kani salad - kani is a Japanese phrase for imitation crab meat, which is also known as surimi. It is usually sold as crab sticks.
- Spicy seafood salad - use a mixture of fish such as prawns (shrimp), crab and surimi.
- Tuna - make this salad using canned tuna for a more economical option.
- Salmon - use canned, poaced or foil baked salmon as an alternative.
These alternatives work well.
- Cucumber - cut into small cubes.
- Radish - cut into small cubes or slices cut in half.
- Celery - slice thinly.
- Tomato - remove the seeds and dice. The seeds and surrounding flesh are too juicy and will change the texture of the salad.
- Spring onions - slice thinly
- Herbs - use a tablespoon or chopped fresh parsly, basil or dill.
- Hard boiled egg - chopped.
If you don't have Sriracha try these ideas. The measurements are only a guide. I would suggest adding a small amount and adjust the amount to taste.
- Tabasco - few drops
- Cayenne pepper - quarter to half a teaspoon.
- Chilli powder - quarter to half a teaspoon.
- Shichimi - this is a Japanese spice blend also known as nana-iro tgarashi. It's a mix of seven spices including chilli powder, sesame seeds, hemp and ginger. Use sparingly!
- Paprika - use half to one teaspoon.
- Sprig of dill
- Small dice of cucumber
- King prawns
- Teaspoon of lumpfish roe
- Refrigerator - cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Freezer - not suitable for freezing.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Make the salad the day before and leave in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Imitation crab is also known as surimi. It is used extensively in Japanse cooking and sushi dishes. Surimi means pounded meat.
It consists of cheaper white fish pressed into sticks and can be easily shredded into strands with your fingers.
It tends to be low in calories and fat, however, there are added sugars, salt, thickeners, colourings and flavourings to make it look more like crab.
Although edible crabs are found all over the UK the town of Cromer on the north Norfolk coast is famous.
Cromer crabs are caught in the North Sea and due to the waters, which are full of nutrients, the crabs are sweet and more tasty than other area.
I have visited several times and there are many stallholders selling dressed crab and small eateries offering amazing crab sandwiches.
If you don't want to use presentation rings you can just serve the salad on a plate or in a lettuce leaf.
It's also great in a sandwich or wrap.
Use the crab to fill vol au vents or serve on small pieces of toast as a canapé.
More seafood starter dishes
- Prawn Canapés
- Smoked Salmon Canapés
- Salmon Gravlax
- Smoked Salmon Pâté
- Smoked Salmon Tartines
- Smoked Salmon and Avocado Mousse
- Salmon Timbales
- Seafood Bisque
Spicy Crab Salad
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Mixing bowl
- 350 g crab meat white and brown
- 140 g cucumber half a cucumber
- 2 tablespoon capers drained
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ red onion
- 1 avocado
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 radishes
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce to taste
- Peel and chop the onion finely and cut the cucumber and radish into fine slices.
- Chop the avocado into rough cubes and toss the cubes with the lemon juice.
- Put the crab, avocado, onion, capers, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl.
- If you are using sriracha or other spice, mix it together with the mayonnaise before adding to the bowl. Stir the mixture gently to combine.
- Arrange the cucumber slices on a side plate, slightly overlapping.
- Use a presentation ring and place in the centre of the cucumber.
- Divide the mixture between the rings and press down gently.
- Chill ideally for 2 hours then garnish with radish slices to serve.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More seafood recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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I really wanted to try this but didn't have crab, so I used tuna like you suggested and it was so yummy! Such a fun and easy appetizer!
I could eat this crab salad everyday Very flavorful and easy to make we just loved this will make it again for sure!
I love this recipe so much! It's the perfect example of how simple ingredients can make something so amazing.
I've never had crab salad with avocados, capers or radishes. It sounds fabulous! Can't wait to make this.
The presentation of this crab dip is incredible! It really is a perfect appetizer for entertaining too and yet so easy to prepare. I kinda just want to make it for an ordinary dinner cause it looks so good.
The first time I made it with crabs, and the second time with tuna. And I must say both salad versions are delicious, thanks!
Alison Saalbach Corey
This recipe is on Fire!!! Amazing salad with avocado, red onion, and capers all together, Wow Fantastic! Thanks, Amanda!
This salad looks so attractive and is well explained. I am so excited to try it over the weekend.
I'm excited because I have a can of crab in the fridge, and this is a perfect light meal for these hot nights!
The perfect dinner party starter. I love crab and this recipe sounds delicious.
This looks like my kind of salad. Absolutely delicious where you use crab meat with avocado and capers. I am trying this out soon.