Crab and cucumber nori taco

The decadent seafood and crunchy vegetables make for a texturally exciting dish.

Inspired by the flavors of Japanese kani salad, made with cucumber, imitation crab, and mayonnaise, Denver-based recipe developer Julia Heffelfinger created this healthier “taco” with jumbo lump crab and dairy-free avocado oil mayonnaise. The crab provides vitamin B12 and zinc, in addition to a sweet, briny flavor that works well with the refreshing cucumber. Since cucumber is high in moisture, she recommends squeezing out as much water as possible after it’s seeded and julienned. Masago, an orange fish roe found in many sushi rolls, is an optional garnish, and can be found in the fish department of many grocery stores.

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus time for cooking the rice
Serves 4

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Photography by Robert Bredvad. Food styling bySuzanne Lenzer.


⅓ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chili paste, such as Sriracha
1½ teaspoons low-sodium tamari
1½ teaspoons rice vinegar
Kosher salt
1 small English cucumber, seeded and julienned
8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat, picked over to remove any shell
½ cup finely-sliced or snipped chives
Five 8-by-8-inch sheets nori, cut into quarters (sold at specialty stores and online)
Steamed brown rice, for serving
Julienned bell pepper, julienned carrots, for garnish
Masago (optional), for garnish
Sesame-Miso Sauce, for serving


In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the chili paste, tamari, and rice vinegar. Season with salt. Gently squeeze any excess moisture from the julienned cucumber and add to the dressing along with the crab and chives. Gently fold together until everything is evenly coated with sauce.
Let guests assemble their own tacos, layering the nori with rice and crab salad. Garnish with julienned bell pepper and carrots, along with a small dollop of masago, if desired. Eat immediately, passing the sesame-miso sauce at the table for drizzling or dipping.