How to make West Indies crab meat salad (recipe)

My brother-in-law, Tommy Ratchford of Pensacola, isn’t much of a cook, but he knows a thing or two about seafood. Hearken to his “Southfacin’ Cook” recipe for perfect boiled shrimp.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

His “West Indies Salad” is a delicious, light, crisp, tart combo of vinegar-sweetened onions, brine and juicy lump crab meat. Can’t get much tastier than that!

It’s gorgeous on toasted French bread slices and even prettier in a stemmed cocktail glass as a true salad or a buffet specialty.

Easy, delicious. A great change of pace with summertime fare, too. Enjoy any time of the year, so long as the crab meat is fresh.

West Indies crab meat salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

EQUIPMENT

  • Medium-size mixing bowls
  • glass loaf pan
  • chopping board
  • chef’s knife
  • veggie chopper or food processor
  • sieve or colander
  • small rubber spatula
  • measuring equipment
  • plastic wrap

INGREDIENTS

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

 

  • 1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat
  • 2 large or 3 medium yellow onions
  • 1 bunch green onions (5-6 onions)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (more if you like more “kick”)
  • 6 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces water

#NewinNOLA tip: We head to the Westwego Shrimp Lot for fresh seafood. It’s a parking lot where the fishermen set up and sell shrimp, crabs and fresh fish. Bring a cooler and cash.

LET’S GET STARTED

In your sink, dump crab meat into a sieve or colander. Under a light stream of cold water, use your hands to carefully rinse crab meat and remove orange bits and any pieces of shell. Be gentle, though, and take care not to break up lumps. Set crab meat aside in the sieve or colander and allow it to drain thoroughly.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Peel yellow onions and quarter them. In batches, chop them in a box chopper or carefully pulse in a food processor until the onion bits are about the size of a black-eye pea (smaller than a dime). Be careful not to chop them too small. Empty onions into a mixing bowl.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Rinse and finely chop green onions. Blend with other onions.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

In your glass loaf pan, pour half the onion blend. Top that layer with the crab meat. Complete with a final layer of the onion blend. Lightly tamp down and make sure the top is relatively even.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Slowly drizzle all of the apple cider vinegar, using a side-to-side pattern to cover the top layer. In the same side-to-side pattern, drizzle the salt, then the white pepper. Complete the drizzling with the olive oil, then water.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6-8 hours. Salad keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 days.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

SERVES 6-8. Looks pretty plated on a lettuce leaf or in a stemmed cocktail glass. Also good on crackers or toasted French bread slices.

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

how to make West Indies crab meat salad (photos by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook)

Come back to NewinNOLA.com for “Southfacin’ Cook,” where Patsy explains the basics to Southern cooking and eating. Contact her with suggestions, questions or requests at patsy.brumfield@gmail.com.

Click here for previous recipes from Patsy. And here is our complete list of recipes.

Creative Commons License
This work by Patsy R. Brumfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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