Spicy Kani Salad

Spicy Kani Salad

July 8, 2022 6 Comments

You will love how refreshing and delicious this spicy kani salad is. It’s super easy to make, too.

Spicy Kani Salad

From the recipe collection of Tara Ippolito

I can’t stress enough how much I love a spicy kani salad.

I was first introduced to them by Auntie Amanda on Tik Tok about a year ago.

spicy kani salad cover

The more I saw her eating them the more I wanted to try one.

Let me tell you something, I was hooked from the very first bite.

spicy kani salad with avocado

Since then I can not order sushi without a spicy kani salad to go alone with it.

The ingredients are simple but they all play a part to make this salad really special.

spicy kani salad with sesame seeds

I know if you try this spicy kani salad recipe, you’re going to love it, too!

What’s a spicy kani salad made of?

A kani salad is usually made up of shredded imitation crab meat and a Japanese mayo based dressing.

“Kani” in Japanese means “crab”.

imitation crab package

Japanese mayonnaise is generally more rich and tangier then American mayo, too, by the way.

I’ve had kani salads with shredded cucumber, mango and carrots also.

shredded cucumber

Another additions I really like are tobiko and panko breadcrumbs.

What exactly is imitation crab?

Imitation crab or crab sticks are made to look just like real snow crab or slider crab legs but they’re not.

finished spicy kani salad

They’re typically made of finely minced white fish formed into the shape of the crab legs.

They tastet just like the real thing though!

Does this kani salad have to be spicy?

If you’re not really into heat don’t worry.

You can easily eliminate the spice out of this salad.

sriracha mayo

Instead of using sriracha mayonnaise just use regular mayonnaise instead.

Still mix it with the vinegar and you’re good to go!

Can I used regular crab meat?

You can but it’s not recommended.

A real kani salad uses the imitation crab meat or crab sticks.

adding spicy mayo to the kani salad

I’d try it this way before switching to real crab first.

What to serve a spicy kani salad with

Kani salads can be served as a side dish, snack or main course.

skirt streak marinade

It is a Japanese food so I usually get it with sushi. But when I make it at home like this the options are endless.

I usually go with something like chicken teriyaki, orange chicken or skirt steak and a vegetable like roasted broccoli.

roasted Garlic Parmesan broccoli cover

Any protein and veggie combo would work just fine.

Spicy Kani Salad Ingredients

spicy kani salad in a bowl
  • Sriracha mayonnaise
  • Vinegar
  • Imitation crab
  • Shredded cucumber
  • Shredded carrot
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)


First, pull apart the imitation crab or slice it into shreds then add it to a medium sized bowl.

shredded imitation crab meat

Now add the shredded carrots.

shredded carrots in a bowl

I get them in a bag preshredded to save myself the hassle but if you want to shred a carrot yourself go for it.

shredded carrots bag

Then using a peeler, peel the cucumber from the outside into the center leaving the seeds.

peeled cucumber

Take those cucumber shreds and slice them thin using a knife and add them to the crab and carrots.

sliced cucumber in a bowl

After that make the dressing by mixing spicy mayonnaise with a little white vinegar.

spicy mayo and vinegar in a mixing bowl

Add the spicy mayo dressing to the kani salad and toss it to combine.

spicy mayo dressing

Add sesame seeds and sliced avocado if you want.

spicy kani salad with sesame seeds and avocado

Serve cool and enjoy.

Spicy Kani Salad Recipe Video

Spicy Kani Salad

This spicy kani salad is so refreshing and easy to make.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Keyword: kani salad, spicy kani salad, spicy kani salad recipe


  • 8 oz Imitation crab meat
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 medium Cucumber, shredded
  • 1/3 cup Sriracha Mayo
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • Avocado (optional)
  • 2 tbs Sesame Seeds (optional)


  • First, shred or slice the imitation crab meat thin (julienne) and add it to a medium sized bowl.
  • Then add the shredded carrots. (I buy them already shredded at the grocery store but you can slice one thin or grate it if you want.
  • Using a peeler, peel the cucumber from the outside in until you hit the middle where the seeds are.
  • Using a knife, slice the peeled cucumber into thinner shreds (julienne) and add it to the bowl.
  • To make the dressing, mix the sriracha mayo with the vinegar. Pour it on top of the kani salad and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and add sliced avocado if you'd like. Serve cold and enjoy!
Tara Ippolito

About Al Dente Diva

Tara Ippolito is a self taught home cook from New Jersey and cookbook author of Fast, Simple, Delicious. Better known as “T” across social media, she makes easy to follow recipes using familiar ingredients. T uses her Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest channels to share recipes and cooking tips for everyday people. Her motivation to share with her followers is simple. To inspire people to cook and become more comfortable in the kitchen.

As a wife and busy mother of two little boys she she’s always cooking fast family friendly meals. Sharing her kitchen with others that want to learn is a true passion of hers. As her social media platforms continue to grow she is committed to delivering consistently delicious content to her followers.

Al Dente Diva

Hello there! My name is T & I’m a home cook from New Jersey. I love to share easy to make recipes, cooking tips & kitchen hacks with people who love to cook like I do. My recipes are all easy to follow & use ingredients most people are familiar with. Being a busy stay at home mother of two, I have to cook delicious budget friendly meals that are fast to make. I hope you find something helpful here. Thanks for coming by.

All posts


  • Crystal Hartsell July 24, 2022 at 2:32 pm

    This was absolutely delicious!!!
    The avocado made a big difference.

    • Al Dente Diva July 24, 2022 at 2:53 pm

      Hey Crystal, I’m so glad you made it and liked it! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  • Angela l Hanson Muesse August 9, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    You mention Japanese Mayo but then use the Shriracha mayo. Is the Japanese mayo for when you don’t want spicy?

    • Al Dente Diva August 12, 2022 at 12:31 pm

      Hi! Yes or you can make your own sriracha mayo with Japanese mayo and the sriracha. Up to you

  • Anonymous October 20, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    T this was fantastic. I live me some Kani salad and the amount this made for the price was great. Especially what it costs out. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!!

    • Al Dente Diva October 26, 2022 at 12:55 pm

      Hey Mike, thanks so much!! I’m so happy you tied it and liked it. Thank you!!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.