My not-so-Haitian crab salad

A zesty chipotle crab salad on a food blog devoted to Haitian cuisine?!?

I can imagine your shock at seeing this dish featured on Tchakayiti. I myself struggled with sharing it with you guys. After all, it is a chipotle, paprika, and cayenne infused crab salad. These are definitely not traditional Haitian flavors. If anything, they’re borrowed from another culture.

Yet, here I am sharing the recipe with you today.  I must have lost my mind is probably what you’re thinking.

Worry, not. I still have my head on my shoulders. There is a reason why I am featuring this recipe. And you will soon understand it.  Just be on the lookout for the Creole Kitchens Cook-off which I will introduce on my Instagram account and on the blog in the coming days.

In the meantime, I would still like to make a plea for my crab salad.

I have definitely treated that crab meat in a non-Haitian way. There’s no arguing against that. However, when it comes to our local cuisine, a dish featuring crab is not that far-fetched. We do have many crab-flavored dishes in our Haitian culinary repertoire.

As a proof, our touffe legume and our jute leaves stew better known as lalo are both heavily infused with the flavors of crab. The same goes for our diri ak sirik, our bouillon and our soupe pêcheur.  All those dishes get their flavors enhanced thanks to those crustaceans. Let’s not forget the joy that comes with simply enjoying grilled sea crabs with a hot and spicy piment bouc sauce on a beach. I am salivating as I commit those word to writing. I better get back to my crab salad, though.

This zesty crab salad makes for a great appetizer. You can also use it enhance your soups. |

To tell you the truth the first thing that sets this appetizer apart is the fact that it requires already extracted crab meat. Our local dishes typically rely on whole crabs Whether it’s blue crab, sea crab or earth crab, we tend to serve our crabs whole in the above-mentioned dishes. Extracting their meat is up to dinner guests.

It is thus quite unusual to try and make a crab salad here. Yet, I believe that dish does have its place in our local cooking.  For starters, it makes for an amazing appetizer when paired with cassava chips or papita. That’s exactly how I enjoyed my leftovers for days.  Plus, it is a great topping for a rich and creamy seafood soup or veloute.  It adds both crunch and richness, as you will soon discover when I share my latest soup creation.

I promise I am not trying to sell you this salad of mine as being Haitian with those arguments. My crab salad is not Haitian. And I unapologetically admit so. It can, however, enhance our local dishes.

That said, I hope you won’t hold this non-Haitian recipe that snuck its way onto my Haitian blog against me for too long.  Please give my crab salad a chance to prove itself to you.

This zesty crab salad makes for a great appetizer. You can also use it enhance your soups. |

Zesty Chipotle Crab Salad

This crab salad makes for the perfect appetizer. You can serve it alongside cassava chips or plantain chips
It also complements seafood soups well. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Resting time 3 hrs
Cuisine Haitian


For the crab salad

  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tsp chipotle sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small piment bouc chopped
  • 1 roasted garlic mashed
  • 1 grated lime zest
  • 1 juice of lime
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

For the grilled corn salad

  • Corn kernel
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 diced tomato


For the crab salad

  • In a bowl, mix the sour cream, mayo, olive oil, lime zest and seasoning
  • Fold into the crab meat
  • Drizzle with lime juice
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Let rest in the fridge for a few hours

For the grilled corn salad

  • Heat a cast iron plan
  • Add the corn and let it grill until dark spots form
  • Season with garlic and a bit of cayenne to taste
  • Mix in the diced tomato

To serve

  • Transfer your crab salad to a serving dish
  • Garnish with the grilled corn salad
  • Serve as an appetizer alongside cassava chips or papita. If making a soup, use the salad as garnish


The longer this salad rests, the bolder the flavors. So make sure to prepare it ahead of time for the flavors to fully develop.
Keyword Caribbean, caribbean food, crab, crab salad, haiti, haitian food, recipes, seafood
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  • Martine Romain Megie

    5 stars
    Yes in the soup, but not just by itself with casave!!! By the way, I wasn’t shocked by your recipe as besides the spices the ingredients were all Haitian and I always think that as Haiti is an island, we must be open to everyone and thus to every kind of spices. This will enriched and give a plus to our cuisine. Now the world is a small village…

  • Martine Romain Megie

    Looks fantastick though I didn’t have the chance to enjoy it with you this time, with the casave or others. Hope I will soon.

    • annick

      lol you just put me on blast in public. wait, didn’t you have it in the soup?

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