A Treif Loving Kosher Girl’s Best Friend – Imitation Crab


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?


13 responses »

  1. Pingback: Kosher Imitation Crab Quiche « Kosher Treif Cooking

  2. hi, for the last 2 years i have started cooking only “clean foods”. it is really hard to satisfy 2 growing boys who were raised on bacon. i have a few good tips on making fake bacon taste good. first i buy the beef bacon at a kosher meat market in the city. it is very expensive so i first cook it in olive oil and keep all the drippings. then when i run out of the “good stuff” i put some of the drippings in a pan and cook turkey bacon in it. it tastes so good that my boys don’t complain AT ALL! i also use some of the drippings for hot spinich salad dressing. we hardly miss the real stuff! shalom, kristine rebecca

  3. I cut the entire package into portions, wrapping and all, wrap each portion separately and freeze. This way, I only defrost what I need. I make a similar salad, but with diced celery and fresh chives.

    • I made it without the horseradish sauce recently because I can no longer find that brand of sauce I was buying. The crab salad is still good but it’s just missing that “kick” from the spice.

  4. If you are a Bostonian and really want to eat (trief) like the old days, you melt butter and salt and dip the crab/shrimp in that, and on the side have red authentic cocktail sauce with lemon.

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