I know, weird right? Crab salad? What the what? Now don’t you fret, I haven’t become one of those people who thinks that seafood is some kind of plant that grows from trees or something, nope, because for one, I liked seafood, and two, that whole thing just makes my head want to explode. Nah, what we’ve got here dear readers is a mock seafood salad that’s made out of none other than jackfruit! Yup, that’s right, jackfruit. It’s good for more than making “pulled pork” sandwiches after all!
Now I’ll be honest with you, all my life I’ve despised the taste of seafood. Tuna, cod, lobster, crab, you name it, there’s no way I was putting those creatures of the big blue sea anywhere near my mouth. Time and time again I even tried to get myself to like it, but nope, it just wasn’t gonna happen. Obviously it’s a little easier to turn down nowadays, but growing up in Newfoundland it was almost a prerequisite to love seafood. I couldn’t even tell you how many weird ass looks I’ve gotten over the years because of it…luckily for me I now have an entirely new reason for those weird looks 😉 Even though my hatred of all things fishy runs deep, after receiving a request for a veganized seafood salad recipe from a lovely lady I know, there’s just no way I could say no. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a challenge and she asked so nicely…. Giving up seafood was one of the easiest things in the world for me to do, but I know for some of you it can be one of the hardest. So for all you seafood salad missing vegans out there, this one is for you!I’ve already used smashed chickpeas to make chicken salad, so it didn’t seem right to go down that road again. I dug into the back of my pantry and just so happen to spot a can of jackfruit in brine that I’ve been hoarding since who in the hell knows when…probably when I made tacos that one time…so yeah, it’s been there a while. When you cook all the moisture out of jackfruit it takes on a great chewy texture, but if you leave it as is (squeezing out some of the water) it has a soft kind of flaky texture that’s perfect for a crab alternative, all you need to do is add some flava! I’m not too familiar with seafood salad, so I pretty much just put something together by looking at a bunch of different recipes online. I noticed a lot of them called for Old Bay Seasoning, but since I haven’t a clue where to find that stuff, I came up with my own spice combo. Then some mayo, celery, chives and mustard, to bring everything together. Oh, and I can’t forget the kelp granules to give it that oh so fishy flavor. I pansied out and only used a 1/4 teaspoon, which was plenty for a seafood hater like me, but feel free to up the quantity to your liking!The texture of this stuff was fantastic! And I’m happy to say that even the seafood-like flavors didn’t leave me with a screwed up disgusted look on my face (do I know how to sell this or what?). As it turns out I might actually like vegan crab after all, who knew a seafood hater could turn into a mock-seafood liker, huh, I suppose weirder things have happened. So there you have it, even if you don’t think vegan crab salad is up your alley, give it a shot! It may just change your mind 🙂 And for the rest of you ex-seafood lovers, I hope it curbs those cravings!Lunch Lady Tips
- Serve in a sandwich with some lettuce and tomato or serve over a bed of greens for a gluten-free alternative. Stuffed inside a lettuce wrap would also be great too.
- If possible, prepare the night before so that it has some time to let all the flavors meld together.
- If you plan to eat it sandwich style, pack your salad along with a spoon separate from your bread and assembly when you’re ready to eat. This isn’t a necessity since there’s not too much moisture but it will help keep your bread fresh.
- Want to turn it into an appetizer? Serve it as a dip with some fancy crackers or hollow out some cucumber cups and fill them up with salad for a cute single serving bite.
JACKFRUIT CRAB SALADAuthor: The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado
- 1 20 ounce can of jackfruit (packed in brine, not syrup), rinsed and drained
- 1 stalk celery (about 1/2 cup), chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
- 2 tablespoons red onion
- 3/4 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup egg-free mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons pickled relish
- 1/4 to 1 teaspoon kelp granules (depending on how fishy you like it)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Take each piece of jackfruit and squeeze out as much water as you can, then using a fork or your fingers, pull the pieces apart into shreds, you may need to use a knife to chop up the harder end pieces.
- In a large bowl, add the shredded jackfruit, celery, chives, red onion, tarragon, paprika, lemon juice, mayo, mustard, pickled relish, salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the kelp granules. Mix everything until well combined. Taste and increase the kelp granules or salt and pepper, if desired.