This Crab Louie Salad with King Crab is a lighter version of the classic Crab Louie (or Crab Louis), and is topped with steamed crab and a spicy yogurt dressing.
Guys, I know that I’m here to help you find seafood ideas, but occasionally– you give me THE BEST ideas. (Seriously, you all are fantastic!) Over the summer, I made this Grilled King Crab Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing, and the fabulous Meg (who lives near crabbing country and blogs at Meg is Well), told me I needed to turn it into a Crab Louie Salad. NEEDED to! And so– I did!
This King Crab Louie Salad is a lightened-up version of the West Coast classic, and is made with freshly steamed king crab and a healthy spicy yogurt dressing.
Buying King Crab Legs
For this recipe, you can use either Red King Crab Legs or Golden King Crab Legs. (Or hey– go wild and use both!) Golden (or brown) king crabs are slightly smaller than red king crabs, and the flavors are ever-so-slightly different.
Both types of king crab are usually harvested off the Alaskan and Norwegian coastlines in the Barents Sea, and are considered a highly sustainably sourced seafood. Most of the king crab legs you’ll find will be frozen and precooked.
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How to Steam King Crab Legs
Have you worked with King crab legs before? First of all– know that they’re big! Alaska king crabs can grow up to 5 feet long, and the legs can sometimes seem a little intimidating.
Never fear, crab lover!
They are 100% manageable, and with just a little bit of work– you can chow down on their sweet, sweet meat in (almost) no time.
To begin with, you need to heat the legs up! You can do this on a grill, but as I look outside at the cold wind blowing– I really don’t want to go outside and cook. Instead, I’ve been steaming my crab legs.
To steam king crab legs, you’re going to need a large stock pot. It needs to be big enough to fit the legs with the lid on. If you see that they’re just a teensy bit too long, you can get a little creative and make your own “lid” out of aluminum foil.
(I recommend holding your crab legs up to the stock pot before you try to steam them, just to double check that they’ll fit! If more than an inch of the legs are sticking out of the pot– you’ll need to grill or bake the legs. Or possibly get a larger pot.)
Steam them, and then use tongs to pull them out of the pot.
Making King Crab Louie Salad
After you’ve steamed (or grilled, or baked) your crab legs, you’ll need to get the meat out of the shell.
If you have zero idea what to do with the legs, you can tackle them with a chef’s knife and kitchen shears. Click over to this post where I talk more about removing the shells for a tutorial.
Shopping Tip: You can also buy a crab cracker to make things easier!
Once you’ve got all the crab meat out of the shells, start putting the salad together. You can use more or less of each ingredient (depending on what you’ve got on hand or what you prefer), but here’s how I make mine.
Start with a lettuce base (I like to use a spinach and Romaine blend), and then add boiled eggs, sliced avocado, diced tomato, and lightly blanched asparagus. Serve your salad with the spicy yogurt dressing, and have a crab-tastic meal!
Want more CRAB recipes? Try these:
- King Crab Recipe: Crab Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Crab Fries
- Dungeness Crab Recipe: Eggs Benedict
Want more SALAD recipes? Try these:
Crab Louie Salad with King Crab
This King Crab Louie Salad is a lighter version of the classic Crab Louie, and is topped with steamed king crab and a spicy yogurt dressing.
- 1 lb King Crab Legs (*See Recipe Notes) Orca Bay Crab Legs recommended
- 4 oz Fresh spinach
- 1 Romaine heart, roughly chopped
- 4 boiled eggs (or more if desired), halved
- 1 large tomato, diced (or more if desired)
- 1 avocado, cut into slices
- 6 asparagus stalks, raw, cut into 2" pieces (Optional)
- 2 lemons, quartered
Spicy Yogurt Dressing:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 TB capers
- 1 TB horseradish root, freshly grated (or sub prepared)
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
Steaming the Crab Legs:
Start with a stockpot large enough to hold all the crab legs. (If the legs just barely stick out of the top of the pot, you can still use the pot.) Fill the pot with about 1/2" water, and bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add a steamer basket to the pot. Set the crab legs inside the pot, and cover with a lid. (If the legs stick out of the pot slightly, and prevent the lid from sealing, use a piece of aluminum foil as a lid and pinch it against the pot to create a sealed environment.)
Steam the crab legs 4-6 minutes total for thawed crab legs or 10-11 minutes total for frozen legs.
Carefully remove crab legs from the pot using tongs, and rinse the legs with cold water.
Removing Crab Meat:
Use a crab cracker to remove crab meat from shells, or use a chef's knife and kitchen shears. (Check the Recipe Notes for a tutorial link.)
Spicy Yogurt Sauce:
Add all the sauce ingredients together, and stir. Salt to taste. (This dressing is thick, allowing it to work as both a dressing and a sauce to dip the crab into. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add more lemon juice.)
Assemble the Salad:
(Optional): Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus for 1 minute or less, until bright green. Drain water, and set asparagus aside.
Toss together the romaine hearts and spinach. Use the lettuce as a base for the salad, and then add the tomatoes, avocado, boiled eggs, asparagus, and crab. Serve with limes and the avocado dressing.
*Note: Most King Crab legs are typically sold pre-cooked, and simply need to be heated up. This recipe assumes your crab legs are pre-cooked, so if you're using fresh, uncooked crab legs, the cook time will be longer.
Crab-Cracking Techniques: No Crab Cracker? Follow the link to check out this How to Crack Crab Legs without a Crab Cracker tutorial.