Chunky potatoes, flaky crab, crisp corn, crunchy cucumber, and chopped hard-boiled eggs make up this Imitation Crab and Potato Salad. A savoury, creamy, smooth dressing consisting of mayonnaise, fresh dill, champagne vinegar, and a few other ingredients brings the salad together in a cohesive, deliciously incredible dish!
Crab is one of those things that you might think I had a lot of while growing up. Newfoundlanders have the ocean right at their fingertips, and seafood is readily available. But, my family didn’t eat fish as often as some other Newfoundland families. And, when it came to shellfish of any kind, that wasn’t happening at all! I’m making up for all of that lost time with recipes like this Imitation Crab and Potato Salad!
I remember eating lobster only once as a kid. Friends of my parents had cooked lobsters and invited us to dinner. I think I enjoyed cracking open the shell more than I did eating the meat! Crab was a little different. I remember eating that a few times. Once, my mother even let us cook it in the house! You see if she didn’t like something, then we didn’t get to have it.
And, just like lobster and crab, other shellfish such as shrimp, mussels, clams, etc., were all foreign. My mother would not cook them, because she didn’t like those types of seafood, so we grew up not having them. Maybe that’s why I’m in my 40s and just starting to appreciate shellfish. I can eat lobster, crab, and shrimp, but I’d have to be near death to eat mussels.
Imitation crab is different though, because it’s not shellfish at all. Most imitation crab is made with Alaskan Pollock, and I can eat squid, pollock, cod, tilapia, and halibut until I burst. Salmon and shrimp are great too, but that’s pretty much my limit when it comes to seafood. I am trying to experiment with cooking seafood more, so we’ll see how that goes!
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A POTATO SALAD SNOB? MAYBE!!!
I was born and raised in Newfoundland. Do you know what that means? Among other things, it means that I know potato salad better than anyone! As a food blogger, it is my job to try recipes, and I’ve tried more potato salads than I care to count. To date, I have not found any potato salad that can beat a traditional Newfoundland variety. Is Imitation Crab and Potato Salad traditional? No, but it does combine two things that almost every Newfoundlander loves – potato salad and seafood!
My absolute favourite type of potato salad is the Vegetable Potato Salad. If you travel across the island, you will discover that just about everyone makes it just a little differently. But, there are a few constant staples. For example, almost all Newfoundlanders will use canned mixed vegetables in their potato salad. And, by doing so, they are right!
Some of them will add apples. But, I’d rather be trapped in a butterfly conservatory. Those of you who know me well can just imagine how horrifying that would be for me! Some people add raw onion. I love the flavour of onion, but not raw, and certainly not in a potato salad. It overpowers the whole recipe! Some will add eggs too. I do. I love the texture and taste of eggs in a potato salad, so I added them to this one too.
There is nothing wrong with imitation crab. There, I’ve said it! I have been buying imitation crab for almost twenty years. Would I prefer real crab meat? Of course, I would! But, I’m far from rich, and I live nowhere near an ocean. Depending on where you live, crab meat can be very expensive. And, to be honest, imitation crab is quite good!
You might need to try a few brands to find the right imitation crab for you. I’ve tried a few that I didn’t care for too much at all. Sometimes, they can be too salty, and sometimes, they can taste like nothing. I mean that! In the past, I have purchased imitation crab that had absolutely zero flavours. So, before you give up on it, try a few brands first.
My favourite brand, SeaQuest, is luckily the most recognizable and easily found imitation crab. Here in Ontario, it’s available in almost every grocery store. From my experience, flaked imitation crab tastes better than stick imitation crab. If you’re new to imitation crab, start with flaked crab first. It always has a better flavour and texture.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Crab – Actually, it’s imitation crab! I love it and I’m not ashamed to say so!
- Cucumbers – A small cucumber is all you need. It adds crunch and freshness to the salad.
- Eggs – You will need four hard-boiled eggs.
- Potatoes – Use three large white flesh potatoes cut into one-inch cubes so that they cook faster. I wash the skin really well and leave it on the potatoes. We like the contrast and texture.
- Corn – You can use fresh corn that is cooked and cooled, or frozen corn that has been blanched in salted water, or canned corn that has been well drained. I think canned corn tastes best in this salad.
- Mayonnaise – You can save some calories by using low-fat mayonnaise here.
- Champagne Vinegar – The acidity helps to regulate and balance the flavour. You can substitute it with rice vinegar or cider vinegar.
- Fresh Dill – You must use fresh dill in this recipe! The dill is one of the main flavours, so it just makes sense to use fresh instead of dried. Dried dill is much stronger and even though it tastes good, it will not have a freshness to it.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
PERFECT HARD-BOILED EGGS
We love hard-boiled eggs. Many times, John.e will prepare a bunch on Sunday afternoon so that we have them ready to go over the next few days. Hard-boiled eggs will last up to 5-7 days in the fridge. The eggs you see in the photographs are the eggs he prepared.
Usually, when I hard boil eggs, the yolk tends to get a bit gray on the outside. John.e swears that a little splash of white vinegar in the water is what keeps the yolks vibrant.
Here’s how he does it. He places the eggs in a pot in a single layer. Add enough cold water to the pot so that there is one inch of water over the top of the eggs. Add a good splash of white vinegar. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a full boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and leave the pot to sit on the burner to cool for one hour. Peel the eggs and place in a food-safe container. Refrigerate and eat as needed.
INCLUDING THE EGG YOLKS
Whenever I make this Imitation Crab and Potato Salad – or anything with hard-boiled eggs in it, really – I tend to only use half of the egg yolks. Let me explain. All of the eggs are hardboiled and then roughly chopped. Before I chop them, I cut the eggs in half and remove the yolk from half the amount of eggs. The only reason I do this is that I don’t care for an extremely yellow salad!
I don’t mind a little yellow tint to the finished product, but I don’t want the salad to be completely yellow. Does it matter? Absolutely not! You can include all of the yolks in your salad, but if you do, keep in mind that your salad will be more yellow than the one you see in the photographs.
It’s all in my head, I know! But, how many times have we all heard the expression that we eat with our eyes first? Well, my eyes tell me that I don’t want to eat yellow potato salad. Ha! You do you, Dear Reader!
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HOW TO MAKE IMITATION CRAB AND POTATO SALAD
Once the potatoes are washed and chopped, add them to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. In the meanwhile, open the package of crab and gently separate the chunks and lay them into a single layer on paper towels. Lay another sheet of paper towel over top and gently press to absorb some of the moisture from the crab. Set the crab aside.
Next, add the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and fresh dill to a large mixing bowl. Use a spatula to mix the dill into the mayo. Add the cooled potato chunks to the bowl with the chopped cucumber, diced hard-boiled egg, and corn. Gently toss to coat with the mayonnaise mixture.
Finally, add in the crab and very gently mix it into the potato salad. Imitation crab is delicate so you don’t want to be too aggressive because it will break up the pieces. Once fully mixed through, transfer to a food-safe container and refrigerate.
MORE POTATO SALAD!
Inspired by classic Greek ingredients, with bright and fresh flavours, Greek Potato Salad is a great alternative to regular home-style potato salad. Complete with feta, lemon, dill and pine nuts – who could resist!? For the serious dill pickle enthusiast, Dill Pickle Potato Salad is a creamy, dill-packed side dish fit for any summertime meal! Prepared with dill pickles, fresh chopped dill, and dill pickle juice too, this salad is very dilly indeed!
Familiar Tex-Mex ingredients can be found in my delicious Tex-Mex Potato Salad. Doesn’t it just scream summer? Prepared with baby potatoes, black beans, corn, bell peppers, mayonnaise and sour cream-based sauce, this potato salad is sure to be a hit!
In terms of Newfoundland-style potato salads, I’ve got you covered there too! I’ve already mentioned my favourite of the three common types, Vegetable Potato Salad. It’s made with chopped hard-boiled eggs, mashed potatoes, and green onions; it’s creamy, comforting, and oh-so delicious! Mustard Potato Salad is very similar to regular potato salad but with tang and zing from yellow mustard. Also, this one doesn’t have eggs. It’s a great way to update your regular salad with a new flavour profile! And, finally, there’s my Pickled Beet Potato Salad which is a sweet and creamy side dish paired perfectly with chicken or roast beef; a perfect summer potluck take-along side dish!
HOW TO GET THE MOST FLAVOUR INTO YOUR SALAD
Once you have mixed all of your salad ingredients together, there is one more thing that you can do to get the best results. It’s simple and costs no money at all. All you need to do is to cover the salad well and store it in your fridge for at least two hours. This will give the ingredients time to get to know one another and marry together.
The salad will keep in your fridge for three days. Be sure to toss it well before serving as some of the sauce mixture might have settled to the bottom. That’s it. Now, enjoy!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Imitation Crab and Potato Salad
- 454 grams imitation flaked crab, patted dry
- 4 large hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
- 3 large white flesh potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces and boiled in salted water until just tender
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1 cup canned corn, drained well
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar (you can substitute with rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Once the potatoes are washed and chopped, add them to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
- In the meanwhile, open the package of crab and gently separate the chunks and lay them into a single layer on paper towels. Lay another sheet of paper towel over top and gently press to absorb some of the moisture from the crab. Set the crab aside.
- Next, add the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and fresh dill to a large mixing bowl. Use a spatula to mix the dill into the mayo.
- Add the cooled potato chunks to the bowl with the chopped cucumber, diced hard boiled egg, and the corn. Gently toss to coat with the mayonnaise mixture.
- Finally, add in the crab and very gently mix into the potato salad. Imitation crab is delicate so you don’t want to be too aggressive, because it will break up the pieces.
- Once fully mixed through, transfer to a food-safe container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Salad can be made in advance and will keep for 2-3 days covered and refrigerated.
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