What is Kani?

You will be surprised to learn that, Kani is a Japanese name for crabs! It is a common term used in Western countries, which refers to imitation crab meat. Kani looks like crab legs but they come from white fish. The white fish is processed and mixed with starch to mimic the texture, shape, and flavor of crab legs.

It is absolutely delicious and it is commonly used in many Japanese dishes- like salads or sushi. In addition, it is said to be processed fish meat that’s why sometimes it is referred to as “the hot dog of the sea“.

Kani is prepared with white fish pressed into sticks in Japan. This is one of the reasons for which it is called crab sticks. Kani is mostly white fish but it has a red coloring agent which alters its appearance. Its taste is quite similar to the real crab; mild and slightly sweet.

Is it Similar to Crab?

Absolutely no! Although Kani is the imitation crab meat, however, in comparison to crab it offers lower calories, and nutritional like proteins, vitamins, and sodium.

However, it is clear that Kani offers lesser health and nutritional benefits than real crab but it is still popular among consumers- as it is cheaper and more convenient to cook as compared to real crab. Additionally, Kani is a versatile ingredient too as it is not only added in salads, stuffed mushrooms, and sushi rolls but can also be added in dips and pasta recipes.

Kani salad is generally a Japanese version of crab salad- made with crab sticks, crunchy veggies and fruits, and some flavourful sauces. So without any ado, let’s jump to the recipe:

How to Make Kani? Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 person
Calories 133 kcal


  • 250 grams Imitation crab meat or crab sticks.
  • 1 Cucumber.
  • 3 full Mango.
  • ½ cup Japanese mayonnaise.
  • ½ tbsp Rice white vinegar.
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce.
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce.
  • ½ tsp Salt.
  • ¼ tsp Pepper.
  • 1 whole Avocado. for topping
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds. for topping
  • 2 tbsp Pankobread crumbs. for topping


  • First cut crab sticks, cucumber, and mango into juvenile strips. Add all the strips to a bowl and then add salt and pepper in it and mix them well.
  • For the dressing- take a  separate bowl, add soy sauce, Japanese mayo, sriracha sauce, rice white vinegar, and mix them.
  • In the salad bowl, add the cut ingredients pour the dressing ingredients, and mix them well. The salad should be creamy.
  • Now top your salad with sesame seeds, slices of Avacado, and panko bread crumbs for some crunchiness.

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