This is not your ordinary imitation crab salad recipe. Featuring corn, eggs, rice, and cucumber, this Russian salad version is comforting, filling, and really easy & quick to make!
Throughout the years I heard many negative opinions about imitation crab meat. Some people say that it has nothing in common with real crab meat, others are put off by the contents of the product. The first concern is usually voiced by those with pockets full of money. Of course, I would choose real crab meat over the imitation one anytime, duh. But it’s too darn expensive! Imitation crab, on the other hand, is really cheap. It’s accessible even for the poorer people in my country.
Now let met tell you this. When I buy imitation crab, I don’t even expect it to taste like crab. I don’t look at it as a substitute for the real one. For me, it’s an individual product with its own flavor and texture (which I love very much). What about the contents, imitation crab meat is made of different kinds of fish with the addition of starch, sodium, and artificial flavors. The fish are pulverized to a paste called surimi which is then used to create crab sticks. So what? What’s wrong in here? You can’t expect it to be made of salmon and still be as cheap. That’s the reality and you either accept it or not. I certainly do.
Imitation crab is super popular in my and all the nearby countries. In my family, it’s usually used in salads. My mom has been making a crab meat salad with rice, corn, eggs, and other stuff for years! It has since become my ultimate comfort food. Only later I found out that it wasn’t her special recipe, such a combination of ingredients is used by many people in our region. I don’t know how this exact salad recipe was invented and who did it but its usually called “Russian-Style” imitation crab salad.
You know what’s funny? This recipe is so simple and so widespread that I hesitated to publish it on the blog for a long time. I thought: “Everyone knows it, so what’s the point?” But I forgot one important thing. What’s popular here, in my country, is not necessarily popular on the other side of the globe. And that was the case with this salad.
I checked out the most popular imitation crab salad versions on Pinterest and Google and, surprisingly, found out that almost no one uses corn and rice in their recipes. Americans usually add celery, dill, and other stuff. That’s why I’m sharing this childhood salad of mine with you, guys. I am sure you’ll love it!
- 11 oz. (300g) imitation crab meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup rice
- 1 small can corn (I used 7oz. or 200g)
- 3 tablespoons mayo
- 3 tablespoons yogurt
- a small bunch dill
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Prepare the rice according to the package instructions. Let cool.
- Hard-boil the eggs. Peel and chop them.
- In a big bowl, mix the cooked rice, eggs, crab meat, cucumber, corn, mayo, yogurt, dill, and mix carefully. Season and serve chilled. Enjoy!