This simple recipe makes a seafood salad with a nice interplay of flavor and texture. The addition of softened panko crumbs extends it without altering the delicate seafood flavors.
Since this is a well mixed, mayo-based salad, you can use one of the more economical grades of crabmeat. Even imitation crabmeat would work if that is what is easiest to find and fits your budget best. If you are using real crab, you will need to pick through the crabmeat to ensure that all bits of shell and cartilage are removed. They really are inevitable, and better that you discover these before your guests do.
You can use medium or small shrimp, but they must be cooked, peeled, and deveined. It is easy to find shrimp already prepared in this way in many grocery stores, or you can do the work starting with raw shrimp.
There is some prep work to do with the vegetables, so break out the chef knife and hone your chopping skills. For food safety, use a different cutting board and knife for the vegetables than you used for any raw seafood.
- 2 tablespoons panko crumbs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 6 ounces shrimp (small or medium, cooked)
- 6 ounces white flake crabmeat (cooked)
- 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon sweet onion (finely chopped, or scallion)
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- Dash salt
In a small bowl, pour the milk over the panko crumbs and stir well. Set aside.
Chop the shrimp coarsely (you want big pieces) and flake the crabmeat into pieces about the same size as the shrimp.
Combine the crab and shrimp with the softened panko, crabmeat, celery, onion, pickle, lemon juice, dill (optional), black pepper, and cayenne.
Add just enough mayo to moisten. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Chill the salad for an hour or more to allow the flavors to combine and develop before serving.
Your crab and shrimp salad can be served in many different ways. As an appetizer, serve it on a bed of greens with crackers or a baguette.
For serving individual salads to luncheon guests, it will go well on a bed of baby greens. You can use a scoop or shape each serving in a small dish or an empty (clean) tuna can. Garnish with a sprig of dill or parsley and place a tomato wedge on each plate. Or, use this salad to stuff an heirloom tomato or avocado.
You can use this salad as a sandwich filler. Make a sub on a fresh sandwich roll, adding leaf lettuce and tomato slices. Or, make a hot crab and shrimp salad cheddar melt sandwich just as you would a tuna melt.