Chunks of crab and lobster are tossed with lots of fresh vegetables, like cabbage, cucumber, corn, peas, and green onions in a homemade creamy, tangy, and savoury dressing. Consider your budget and use real seafood or imitation crab and lobster to make this absolutely refreshing Seafood Coleslaw Salad!
Yes, Dear Reader, I am back with another coleslaw recipe! We love coleslaw and never limit it to just a summertime side dish. Even in the coldest of winter months, I’ll make one of my homemade coleslaws to serve with fish and chips, a hearty sandwich, or as an integral part of my favourite meal of all time – cold plates! Today, I’m adding both crab and lobster to make a brand new flavour combination in this Seafood Coleslaw Salad!
So, yes, we love coleslaw! But, I find that because we love it so much, it’s necessary to have more than one flavour or recipe to turn to. My all-time favourite coleslaw is my version of my mom’s creamy coleslaw. It’s the recipe I grew up eating so it’s an easy choice for a favourite. The difference between my mom’s coleslaw and mine is that I never use store-bought coleslaw dressing. I always make the dressing from scratch, because it’s a million times better!
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MORE COLESLAW RECIPES
But, why stop at just one? Wasn’t it Miranda Lambert who said in one of her songs that if you’re going to have one you might as well have two? Well, I’ll beat that, Miranda! How about ten different coleslaw recipes including this one? That’s right, I have a total of ten coleslaw recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen now! And, I’ve covered all of the bases too.
In terms of your typical vegetable coleslaw, in addition to my mom’s which I just mentioned, you have got to try either my Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw, my Carrot and Red Cabbage Coleslaw, or my Creamy Dill Pickle Coleslaw. Thinking outside of the box, I have a Radish and Corn Coleslaw, a Jalapeno Buttermilk Ranch Coleslaw, and a Toasted Cashew and Brussels Sprouts Coleslaw! How’s that for unique and different?
But, when it comes to combining like in the case of this Seafood Coleslaw Salad, I also have a Coleslaw Pasta Salad which really does combine the best of both worlds. It’s a coleslaw and pasta salad combined into one and it’s so, so good! I make this one quite a bit in the summer months as well. So, there you have it, Dear Reader! If you don’t find a coleslaw in there somewhere that you absolutely love, the problem is you, not me. Ha!
REAL VERSUS FAKE CRAB AND LOBSTER
The last time I shared a recipe using imitation crab, I mentioned the fact that every time I do, I click on the publish button and wait for the mean comments to fire my way. There is some serious hate out there for imitation crab! Well this time, I’m really expecting the hate mail, because not only am I using imitation crab, but I’m using imitation lobster as well!
But, do you know something, Dear Reader? The great thing about imitation crab and lobster is that they fit into almost every budget. But, if you’re rich and can afford real crab and lobster, be my guest! I’d rather save my real seafood for a seafood boil and use imitation in recipes like this Seafood Coleslaw Salad.
I’m not one to start drama, but I will drop this little tidbit of information here for those of you who stick your nose up at imitation seafood. Did you know that imitation lobster is often used in restaurants where customers assume they are ordering real lobster? It’s true! I watched an episode of Market Place dedicated to uncovering some of these restaurants. So, why do they get away with it? Well, most imitation lobster product contains about 17% real lobster meat while the rest is made up of white fish. In all cases tested, the consumer was not able to tell the difference!
IMITATION CRAB AND LOBSTER
There is nothing wrong with imitation crab or lobster. 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! Even though I am new to imitation lobster, it is equally as good and as affordable.
You might need to try a few brands to find the right imitation seafood 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 flavour. 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. Seaquest is also the brand of imitation lobster I used in this recipe.
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 and Lobster – Actually, it’s imitation on both counts. You can use real crab and lobster meat if your budget permits.
- Cabbage – I’m using green cabbage that I have shredded using my vegetable peeler. You can use a food processor or even finely chop it with a knife.
- Cucumbers – Use half of one large English cucumber or two mini pickling cucumbers.
- Green Peas – You can use fresh peas or frozen peas. I’m using frozen peas in this recipe.
- Corn – I like to use frozen corn because it is quicker and easier. If you’re a purist and want to use fresh corn, you can do that too.
- Fresh Dill – You must use fresh dill in this recipe! Dried dill is much stronger and even though it tastes good, it will not have a freshness to it.
- Green Onions – These add flavour and freshness.
- Mayonnaise – You can save some calories by using low-fat mayonnaise here.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – This is one of my favourite vinegars and I use it often. You can substitute with champagne or white vinegar, but nothing like malt or balsamic.
- Sugar – You might not like sugar in coleslaw, but the little bit used here will offset the strength of the vinegar.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
HOW TO MAKE SEAFOOD COLESLAW SALAD
Place the frozen corn and the green peas into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat them at full speed for 2 minutes. If they are fully thawed, heat them for only 45 seconds. They should not be hot when added to the salad, so once they are done, set them aside to cool.
In the meantime, prepare the crab, lobster, cabbage, cucumber, and fresh dill, transferring them all to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Next, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, white sugar, salt, and ground black pepper.
Once the corn and peas are fully cooled, add them to the bowl with the cabbage and other ingredients. Pour the sauce mixture over the peas and corn. Use tongs to toss until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
CHOPPED, SHREDDED, OR GRATED?
When it comes to preparing vegetables, I’m a masochist. I actually do find so much pleasure in chopping vegetables. It’s my version of therapy! If you don’t care to spend the time chopping, you can shred, grate, and dice to your heart’s content using your food processor.
Here’s the thing though. A food processor will most likely over-process. I like the inconsistency of handmade. I like the feeling of a job well done once all of that chopping is out of the way. More importantly, I’d rather wash up one knife and a cutting board rather than a 6-piece food processor!
HOW TO CUT CABBAGE
Preparing the cabbage can be daunting though. Let’s face it – cabbages are big and can be rather tough to cut through. I have watched home cooks butcher a cabbage simply because they did not cut it properly. The first thing you want to do is to cut the cabbage into manageable pieces.
Turn the cabbage upside down so that the core is facing up. Using a very large knife, cut through the center of the core, halving the whole cabbage into two even sections. Repeat with each half so that you have quartered the entire cabbage.
The key to easy chopping for this coleslaw is to keep the core intact. Do not remove it. It will hold all of those leaves in place. Working with one-quarter at a time, start at the top and cut across the leaves in 1/4-inch slices. Once you reach the core, stop and discard the core section. Use your hands to toss the cut cabbage to loosen it. Add it to a bowl and move on to the other sections. If you do not need to use all it of, wrap the quarters in plastic wrap and keep them in the crisper section of your fridge.
Alternatively, you can use a vegetable peeler like I did in this case. Carefully pull the peeler across the cut surface of the cabbage, starting near the core where the leaves are held intact. Pull downward to make long, thin shreds. You can shred or chop; whatever is easier for you!
Seafood Coleslaw Salad stores quite well and can last for several days. Even though vinegar-based coleslaw can last much longer than mayonnaise-based coleslaw, this one is perfectly safe in your fridge for 3 days. Be sure to keep it covered well and you’ll be fine.
Can you make this recipe ahead of time? Well, that’s the beauty of coleslaw, isn’t it!? You can make it a day or two in advance without compromising the texture or the flavour. Coleslaw just seems to get better and better over time. Even though I am a huge advocate for making things ahead of time, I would not make this coleslaw more than 48 hours before I was planning to serve it. Keep in mind that the longer it sits before you serve it, the less time it will last in the fridge after that. Does that make sense? Ha!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Seafood Coleslaw Salad
- 454 grams crab meat, if using imitation, use flaked-style and break the meat into smaller pieces
- 454 grams lobster meat, if using imitation, use flaked-style and break the meat into smaller pieces
- 10 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, cooked and cooled
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked and cooled
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place the frozen corn and the green peas into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat them at full speed for 2 minutes. If they are fully thawed, heat them for only 45 seconds. They should not be hot when added to the salad, so once they are done, set them aside to cool.
- In the meantime, prepare the crab and lobster by breaking down the meat into smaller pieces. The meat should still be a little on the chunky side. Place all of the crab and lobster into a large mixing bowl.
- Shred the cabbage, dice the cucumber, chop the green onions and fresh dill. Transfer all of these to the mixing bowl with the lobster and crab. Set aside.
- Next, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, white sugar, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Once the corn and peas are fully cooled, add them to the bowl with the cabbage and other ingredients.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the peas and corn. Use tongs to toss until well-coated.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
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