Kanikama Crab Salad: A Deliciously Light Recipe In 10 Min!

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Looking for a delicious and healthy salad to add to your meal plan?

Kanikama Crab Salad is the perfect dish for you! This salad is made with fresh, nutritious ingredients and has a delicious crab flavor that everyone will love.

You can enjoy this salad as part of a healthy diet or as a light lunch or dinner. It’s also perfect for parties and potlucks, so let’s make it!

Kanikama crab salad
Kanimaka Crab Salad recipe

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Kanikama Crab Salad recipe

Joost Nusselder
Kanikama is the imitation crab everyone loves, and it's very cheap but still delicious. Especially in a nice salad where you have a lot going on.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people


  • 8 ounces kanikama imitation crab sticks
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 tbsp green onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp turnips
  • tbsp kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp ponzu
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha


  • Slice the kanikama into thin strips and add them to a large bowl.
  • Next, cut the green onions into small pieces and add half of them to the bowl. Set the rest aside. Cut the turnips into small pieces and add all of those to the bowl.
  • Cut the half a cucumber into two, so you have two quarters and slice it into strips of around the same size and shape as the crab sticks and set the cucumber strips aside.
  • Be sure to mix the wet ingredients for the salad dressing in a separate bowl first before adding everything to the large bowl so it can mix thoroughly, then pour it all into the large bowl with the imitation crab meat.
  • Finally, give it a good toss to ensure everything is completely coated.
  • Plate the cucumber as a bed to put the kanikama sauce mix on top of, then garnish it with the leftover green onions.
Keyword kanikama, Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Favorite ingredients

Kewpie is almost synonymous with Japanese mayonnaise. In fact, it claims to be the originator of Japanese mayo.

You can, of course, use any type of Japanese mayo, but this recipe pairs best with the vinegary sweet taste of the Kewpie brand:

kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

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I personally like to work with these larger crab sticks from Marutama Fisheries because it’s hard to find others that have an authentic taste. Plus the large size is great for adding it to larger sushi rolls:

Marutama Fisheries crab sticks

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I think this Chaganju brand has the best ponzu because it’s made with yuzu, the perfect acidity in this recipe:

Chaganju ponzu

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Cheaper brands like kikkoman are fine as well, but they have a more citrusy flavor that comes from the lemons used.


This recipe really needs the crab sticks so you can’t replace those. But you might be able to find surimi sticks or imitation crab sticks if you can’t find a packaging with specifically kanikama written on it.

Those are completely fine as well.

Ponzu substitute for kanikama salad

If you can’t find ponzu, don’t worry! You can easily make your own by mixing equal parts rice vinegar, soy sauce, and citrus juice. This homemade ponzu will work perfectly in this recipe.

You can even skip the rice vinegar and just use the soy sauce and citrus juice if needed.

Kewpie substitute for kanikama salad

You can use any brand of Japanese mayo as they are all fine. But you can also make a little yourself using regular mayo, a bit of vinegar, and some salt to taste.

Also read: if you like kanikama, you’ll love these 9 best kamaboko recipes

Sriracha substitute for kanikama salad

If you don’t have the sriracha, don’t worry. You can always leave that out and make a refreshing salad without the spice.

I find that sweet thai chili sauce is a bit too sweet for this dish, but you can try it in small amounts, or use just a little sambal.

How to store leftovers

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to three days. Just make sure to place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap on the plate.

This salad will stay fresh and delicious if you store it in the fridge for a couple of days.


There aren’t that many recipes you can make in under 10 minutes, believe me, I’ve tried.

This citrusy flavor of the sauce and the saltiness of the soy sauce pairs perfectly with the sweet-savory kanikama.

Also read: Wait! Is kanikama shellfish? Or am I safe from allergic reactions?

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.