Before I started keeping Kosher, I loved and happily ate most shell-fish. One of my favorites was crab meat, especially when I was enjoying it at one of those all-you-can-eat crab leg places. So during the time that I was mourning the loss of my bottom-feeding friends, I was thrilled to find “Imitation Crab Bisque” on the menu at a very Kosher wedding. What? If they can serve it here, it must be OK for me to eat. But how are they getting away with it I wondered?
Not long after this divine discovery, I was invited to a neighbor’s house for Shabbat lunch where she served Kosher Imitation Crab Salad as part of the first course. It was out-of-this-world good and after helping myself to two servings, I visited the kitchen in search of the secret behind this Treif ingredient. The cook pulled a package of Dyna-Sea Imitation Crab Meat out of her freezer. Magical heavens opening up sound plays here. Where can I get my hands on this stuff?
Initially, I purchased they Dyna-Sea imitation crab meat, which is labeled Kosher Parve KOF-K Supervision, at my local grocery store for anywhere from $6.99 to $7.99 per package but later discovered that I could order it from a food coop for much less. If you are fortunate enough to have a coop like the KC Kosher Coop in your community, you can get this kosher crab meat for $5.18 per package. Yes, you have to purchase it by the case but you can either split it with a friend or if you’re like me, buy the entire case for yourself because you’ll have no problem using it. This imitation crab meat freezes well and thraws quickly. When I’m planning to use it, I take it out of the freezer and place in the refridgerator the day before or it can even be thawed in a bowl of water within an hour.
I’ve yet to venture out and actually try to make the Kosher Imitation Crab Bisque myself but the Imitation Crab Salad is a weekly Shabbat staple in my house and my 6-year-old daughter, who won’t eat much of anything, loves it. Here’s the recipe I use when making the crab salad:
Kosher Imitation Crab Salad Ingredients:
- 1 package Dyna-Sea Imitation Crab Meat – 16 ounces (or any other brand of kosher imitation crab meat)
- Light Mayo – 2 Tablespoons (or add as much or as little as you like based on your taste)
- Kraft Creamy Horseradish Sauce – 1 Teaspoon
- Lemon Juice – 1 Tablespoon
- Dried Dill weed whole – 1 Tablespoon
- Salt – 1 Teaspoon
- Pepper – 1/2 Teaspoon
Place the crab meat into a large bowl and tear the pieces into smaller pieces/shreds with your hands. I think you can also buy shredded crab meat from Dyna-Star, but I always get the larger pieces because my daughter likes to eat them as a snack. Add the 2 Tablespoons of Mayo (I use Hellman’s Mayonaise and also sometimes go with the “Light” version to save some calories. I can’t tell the difference between the two so either is fine. Also, depending on how creamy you want your crab salad, you might need to add more mayo or less. It’s best to start out with less and add more as you go.
Next, add the 1 teaspoon of Kraft Creamy Horseradish Sauce (or I just usually add a squirt and sometimes after tasting everything, I go back and add another squirt to give the crab salad an extra kick.
Now, add the tablespoon of lemon juice, tablespoon of Dill, teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and stir everything together until it’s well mixed. Give it a taste test and add more ingredients as needed based on your taste. In my family, my husband prefers the salad to be less creamy (aka, less mayo) so I start with a Tablespoon, mix it all together and then add as needed.
Chill for 1 hour if possible and serve as part of your first (fish) course for Shabbat.
We generally have left-overs as well that we snack on for the first few days of the week.
Are you a kosher crab lover? If so, have you tried any recipies with the imitation crab that you love and want to share?