What is Crab Louie?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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As a time honored dish in the United States that looks like a salad but is often used as an entrée, Crab Louie is especially a great way to enjoy crab without the addition of breading and other distractions. Here is the basic recipe for Crab Louie that anyone can make at home.

At the heart of Crab Louie is the crab meat itself. Just about all recipes will call for the use of Dungeness crab in order to make a true Crab Louie. However, it is possible to use other forms of crab as well, if necessary. Ideally, the crab should be fresh, but if that is not possible, frozen or canned options will work well. The crab meat can be lightly seasoned to taste and either baked, sautéed or steamed until done.


In preparing the presentation for Crab Louie, it is important to create a bed of greens. This can consist of chopped iceberg lettuce, or include a mix of summer or winter greens. Placing the prepared crab meat in the middle of the bed of greens, garnish the meat with anything you like. Tomato wedges are commonly used, as are wedges of avocados, sections of citrus fruits and even black olives. Sections of hard-boiled eggs can also add some visual interest as well as another taste on the plate. A basic sauce of green peppers, onions, chili sauce, and salt and pepper can be prepared and poured over the top of the meat. To add some texture to the sauce, some of the same elements used for garnish can be added into the mix as well.

Part of the fun of serving Crab Louie is that you can adapt the presentation to fit just about any dietary needs of your family or guests. For example, the choice of garnishes can be completely governed by personal preferences to include elements that are healthy and to liking of those gathered at the table. Also, there are ways to vary the ingredients in the sauce so that persons with allergies to onions, peppers or diary products can still enjoy Crab Louie without having any ill effects afterward. Whether dieting or needing to allow for food allergies, few dishes can adapt as well as Crab Louie.

Sometimes referred to as Crab Louis, this easy to prepare crab salad is an excellent option for anyone who wishes to enjoy crab without frying or the addition of a lot of fats and carbohydrates. Among the many types of crab salads, Crab Louie is one of the few that can actually be a filling entrée that does not leave the dinner guest wondering when the main course will be served.


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