This Kani Salad recipe tastes like the side dish you’d order at a Japanese Steakhouse. Thin crab strips with julienned vegetables, a spicy mayonnaise dressing served with crunchy panko breadcrumbs, the perfect combination of flavors.

Add chicken gyozas or our pork potstickers to your dinner, and you’ll feel like you’re at a restaurant.

Crab Cucumber Kani Salad Recipe in a bowl with a spoon topped with crumbs.


This Japanese Kani Salad made with thin strips of crab and cucumber and tossed in a spicy dressing is absolutely phenomenal. It’s hard to believe that the salad only requires 3 simple ingredients and the dressing.

What is Kani Salad? Kani salad gets its name from the main ingredient in the salad which is imitation crab meat (also known as Surimi). Kani is widely used in Japanese sushi restaurants, especially in America.

Kani Salad Video Recipe-

Watch Valentina make the popular Kani Salad, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Spicy kani salad in a serving bowl topped with fresh greens.


Spicy Kani Salad ingredients are quite simple and may all be easily found at your local grocery store.

  • Crab Meat– Imitation crab sticks work great, but you can use leftover crab meat.
  • Cucumbers- Fresh cucumbers, mini cucumbers, or an English cucumber will work.
  • Panko crumbs– The toasted panko crumbs add texture to the salad.
  • Dressing– We made our own dressing, so easy and delicious.


  • Mango– In many restaurants, mango slices are added to the salad for a slight sweetness. Perfect when fresh mangos are in season!
  • Carrot– You can add thinly julienned carrot to the salad as well. Just keep the cut similar to the remaining ingredients.
  • Tobiko– Feel free to add some tobiko to your salad, we normally don’t, but we see it’s quite popular!
All the ingredients needed for homemade Kani salad on a cutting board.


Though this salad is absolutely EASY, the prep time is slightly longer than everyday salads because we want the crab and cucumbers really thin. Be patient; it will be worth it.

  1. Make spicy mayo– In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Spicy Mayo dressing, or use store-bought spicy mayo.
  2. Cut cucumber– Julienne cucumbers thinly; in my opinion, the thinner you cut the cucumber, the better the salad.
  3. Cut crab- Pull apart the crab meat into thin strands, as thin as you can get them.
  4. Combine– In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers and crab. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Add in the panko crumbs, lightly toss again and serve. Optional, add sesame seeds when serving.


Kani Salad may easily be prepared one day in advance. Prepare the dressing and keep it in a container. Cut the cucumbers pull apart the crab and keep covered. Before serving, mix the salad and top it with crumbs.

Kani salad in a bowl topped with fresh chopped greens and bread crumbs.

Frequently Asked Questions-

How do I store leftover salad?

If there’s any leftover salad (probably won’t be), store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The salad will stay fresh for up to 2 days.

What kind of crab can I use?

We used imitation crab sticks but feel free to use real crab!

Do I eat the salad with soy sauce?

Nope, this is all this salad requires, and tastes wonderful!

Do I have to peel the cucumber?

We don’t peel the cucumber as we like the extra texture the skin of the cucumber gives.

Kani salad in a bowl with a spoon topped with fresh greens.

I hope this Japanese crab salad becomes a new favorite and is enjoyed as a side salad for dinner or whenever you are enjoying sushi.

More Asian recipes:

Oh, how we love Asian Recipes, so so good! Here are some popular dishes that we often make in our home.

Spicy Kani Salad Recipe

Author: Valentina
A bowl of kani salad.
5 from 21 votes
This Spicy Kani Salad Recipe is the best copycat salad recipe that you get at a Japanese sushi restaurant. Crab strips with cucumbers in a homemade spicy mayo dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings



  • 8 oz imitation crab
  • 4 mini cucumbers
  • 3 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 1 portion spicy mayo


  • Julienne cucumbers and crab meat in thin strips (or just pull apart the crab).
  • In a mixing bowl, add the cucumber, crab and half of the panko crumbs and toss to combine.
  • Add about ¾ of the dressing to the salad and mix. Add remaining crumbs on top of the salad and drizzle more dressing, if desired.


204kcal Calories15g Carbs2g Protein14g Fat2g Saturated Fat7mg Cholesterol357mg Sodium422mg Potassium2g Fiber7g Sugar215IU Vitamin A10.5mg Vitamin C56mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Kani Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 204 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 357mg16%
Potassium 422mg12%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 215IU4%
Vitamin C 10.5mg13%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)