Crab meat is a delicate food that’s bursting with the flavors of the sea. It’s versatile enough to be used on a variety of dishes like omelets and soups, but can also be served on its own, whether stir-fried in a tangy and spicy sauce, or simply steamed and served with raw butter.
Did You Know?
- If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy crabmeat, tossing it in a fresh salad is a wonderful idea
- As much as possible, do not use imitation crabmeat you find in supermarkets. Not only are they highly processed, but they are also made from golden threadfin bream, a fish facing extinction, and other inexpensive white fish species
- Aside from its unique infusion of fresh greens and delicate seafood, this land and sea salad is also loaded with nutrients that your body can benefit from
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy crabmeat, tossing it in a fresh salad is a wonderful idea. My recipe combines crabmeat with another equally delicious seafood: scallops. Serve with your favorite greens, and it’ll surely be a hit with your guests.
Land and Sea Salad Recipe
Adapted from Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 daikon, julienned
- 1 medium red cabbage, shredded
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ pound crabmeat
- ½ pound bay scallops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Serving Size: 4
- Poach crabmeat and scallops, separately, for 30 seconds each. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add crab and scallops to the veggies, mix the dressing, pour over salad, and serve.
(From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)
Land and Sea Salad Cooking Tips
Most supermarkets sell pre-cooked crab claws and legs, but if you want to ensure the freshness of your dish, then you can buy a fresh crab. Your local farmers' markets, seafood shops, and Asian grocery stores often carry fresh crab.
As much as possible, do not use imitation crabmeat you find in supermarkets. Not only is it highly processed, but it's also typically made from golden threadfin bream, a fish facing extinction. Other cheaper species of white fish, such as pollock, are also used to make imitation crabmeat – the flesh is washed to remove the fishy smell, pulverized, and then bound together with additives, extracts, and salt, giving it the flavor and texture of "expensive crabmeat."
Most imitation crabmeat is loaded with monosodium glutamate and artificial flavors, which can wreak havoc on your health.
When buying scallops, look for those with a pearly white color, with a firm and slightly moist flesh (it shouldn't be completely dry or dripping with moisture, though) and a sweet smell. Don't buy scallops that are mangled or shredded, as this can indicate mishandling and lack of freshness.1
You can buy either fresh or frozen scallops, but when choosing the latter, make sure you thaw them overnight in the fridge, not at room temperature. Sealing them in a plastic zipper bag and putting it under cold running water can also help defrost frozen scallops.2
Scallops are a lean source of protein, and should be cooked quickly under high heat to prevent them from drying out. They have a mild flavor, so if you want a little flavor boost, squeeze a lemon over them.
Why Is Land and Sea Salad Good for You?
Aside from its unique infusion of fresh greens and delicate seafood, this land and sea salad is also loaded with nutrients that your body can benefit from.
A serving of crab contains more than your daily requirement of phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, brain-stimulating adrenaline and noradrenaline, and thyroid hormone. It may help fight Parkinson’s disease.
Crab is also a great source of vitamin B12, which has brain-boosting and heart-protective effects, as well as copper, zinc, and selenium, minerals that support your immune system.3 It also contains the beneficial long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Scallops are a great source of vitamin B12, a nutrient needed by the body to convert homocysteine, a chemical that can damage blood vessel walls, into other benign chemicals. According to the George Mateljan Foundation:
“Since high levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, it's a good idea to be sure that your diet contains plenty of vitamin B12 to help keep homocysteine levels low (homocysteine is also associated with osteoporosis, and a recent study found that osteoporosis occurred more frequently among women whose vitamin B12 status was deficient or marginal compared with those who had normal B12 status.)” 4
Scallops are also rich in magnesium and potassium, nutrients that are both good for your heart. Magnesium helps your blood vessels to relax, helping lower blood pressure while improving blood flow. Meanwhile, potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure levels.
Carrots are best known for their high vitamin A content – 210 percent of the average daily recommended value. It comes from beta-carotene, which your liver converts into vitamin A. In fact, the word “carotene” was actually devised in the 19th century by a German scientist after he crystallized the compounds from carrot roots.
A serving of carrots (a medium carrot or half a cup chopped) also contains:
- 10 percent vitamin K
- 6 percent vitamin C
- 2 percent calcium
When eaten regularly as part of your overall diet, the nutrients in carrots may help protect you against heart disease and stroke, as well as help you build strong bones and a healthy nervous system. Carrots can also help reduce your risk of cancer, and also protect your liver and brain health, promote healthy vision, and even have anti-inflammatory properties. To learn more about carrots, read my article “What Are the Health Benefits of Carrots?”
Cabbage is loaded with powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C that protect your body from oxidative stress, as well phytonutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and help lower your risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Sulforaphane, another powerful phytonutrient in cabbage, is also known for selectively targeting cancer stem cells, which prevent the disease from spreading or recurring.
One serving of cabbage also contains 85 percent of the daily recommended value for vitamin K1, a fat-soluble nutrient that is crucial for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Vitamin K1 is also known to help limit neuron damage in your brain, which helps reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also has healthy amounts of B vitamins, like vitamin B6, B1, B5, and folate, which are important for energy and which help slow down brain shrinkage.
Radishes are known to help relieve congestion, regulate blood pressure, and prevent respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. They are known for their antibacterial, antifungal, and detoxifying properties, and have compounds that help soothe dryness, rashes, and other skin problems.
You can get a good amount of vitamin C (having 25 percent of the daily recommended value) from radishes, a nutrient which helps rebuild tissues and blood vessels, and keep your teeth and bones strong. Daikon and other types of radishes also contain fiber, folate, potassium, riboflavin, copper, magnesium, manganese, and calcium.
Capsaicin, an odorless and colorless compound found in jalapeño peppers that help protect them from fungal attack, is the biggest boon of this spicy food, When you ingest capsaicin, it tricks your brain into perceiving heat where it touches your body. Capsaicin is known to help alleviate pain, and studies have also found that it may have potential benefits for weight loss.
Sources and References