Crab Salad with Serrano and Kewpie Mayonnaise


This quick and easy salad combines bright and acidic lime juice with cilantro, mint, and succulent crab meat.

Crab Salad with Serrano and Kewpie Mayonnaise

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Victoria Granof / Prop Styling by Karin Olsen

Total Time:
10 mins

Although any kind of lump crabmeat will work for this salad, look for what’s local to make this salad extra special. If you are on the East Coast, look for Jonah and stone crab. On the West Coast, seek out Dungeness crabmeat, which is prized for its delicate texture and sweetness. You want big lumps of crab in this salad, so fold it in gently after the rest of ingredients have been stirred together. Look for crab that’s already been cooked, shelled, and picked over to make this salad quick and easy. 

Finely chopped serrano chile and red onion give the base a bit of crunch and spice, while lime zest, cilantro, and mint add brightness. Kewpie mayonnaise, made with only egg yolks, is more eggy and sweet than Western-style mayonnaise, which is made from whole eggs. (You will find Kewpie mayonnaise in the international aisle of most grocery stores.) The richness and velvety texture of the crab salad base delicately coats the crabmeat without masking the naturally sweet and succulent seafood. 

Serve this crab salad with toast points, crackers, or red and green endive spears. It is a festive appetizer on its own, and a great way to round out a homemade seafood tower.


  • 3 tablespoons Kewpie mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion (from 1 onion)

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced serrano chile (from 1 stemmed and seeded chile), plus more to taste 

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • 8 ounces fresh Jonah, stone, Dungeness, or other local lump crabmeat, picked over 

  • Toasts, crackers, or endive spears, for serving


  1. Stir together mayonnaise, onion, lime zest and juice, cilantro, mint, and chile in a medium bowl until combined. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in crabmeat until evenly coated. Season with additional minced chile, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with toasts, crackers, or endive spears.

To Make Ahead

The crab salad can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. As it chills, the flavors will meld, so be sure to season again with salt and pepper just before serving.

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