Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kani Salad x2

So.. I loooove kani. Otherwise known as "fake shrimp." Now, I feel like kani is way more popular now than it was yeeeears ago, and I've been eating this stuff from the package since forever. We first discovered it years ago at Brach's appetizing counter, "shrimp salad"- which had the fake shrimp-cubed, celery, peas, and a mayo dressing. Me & my mom used to eat it by the pound. But you can get it in the freezer section, there are a couple of brands but Dyna-Sea is the one I prefer the most. They come in "shrimp" & "lobster"- the lobster has a "fattier" taste if that makes any sense. The shrimp also comes in sticks. These 2 are the types that are primarily used in sushi. Then there's kani in the shape of shrimp. All this stuff is made with actual fish (pollock usually), but it's not raw. I love it sauteed with a tiny bit of Tamari sauce at the very end, but the options are limitless. It's popular in "sushi salad"- which is basically a deconstructed roll of sushi, with vegis, sushi rice, and shredded kani. Or, spicy kani salad at sushi places. Here I used it 2 different ways, one as an homage to the shrimp salad from Brach's, yet wayyy more updated & way less mayonnaise-y. The other one is a lettuce salad with all the components that I love in sushi (crunch by peanuts, mango, cucumber, and avocado) with breaded and lightly fried shrimp pieces.

Everything Sushi Salad
-3 pieces shrimp-shaped kani (really can use any type)
-2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
-Sesame oil
-1 tsp. sesame seeds
-1/4 cup shelled edamame
-1/4 cup frozen thawed peas
-2 small carrots, finely chopped
-1 stalk celery, finely chopped
-3 tbsp. light mayonnaise
-Sesame seeds
-1 tsp. sesame oil
-2 tsp. low-sodium Tamari sauce (preferred brand: San-J)
-1/2 tsp. lime juice
-La Choy chinese noodles, optional

-Add the cabbage to a bowl, drizzle with a little bit of sesame oil & 1 tsp. sesame seeds, & a sprinkle of salt and let sit for a couple minutes while you prepare the rest.
-Cube the shrimp into bite-size pieces and defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds
-Combine shrimp with the peas, edamame, celery, carrot & set aside
-In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sesame oil, lime juice (just a small squirt), and soy sauce. Sprinkle in some sesame seeds too.
-Add the shrimp mixture to the cabbage, and then pour the dressing over. With a cabbage-type salad, a little dressing usually goes a long way. If you feel like there's not enough dressing, just add some more mayonnaise, not a big deal.
-Let the flavors meld together in the fridge for a few hours (great prep-ahead salad)
-Serve with La Choy noodles, or any type of chinese noodles on top.

Warm Breaded Kani Salad
-2 kani sticks, defrosted, and cut into 4-5 pieces each
-1-2 tbsp. any kind of Italian dressing (I use pre-made "Good Seasons" balsamic dressing)- this is to coat the kani pieces before breading, so you can use an egg but I find this easier & more flavorful.
-3 tbsp. Panko crumbs
-2 tbsp. cornflake crumbs
-Salt & pepper
-Canola oil
-Cut romaine
-Baby spinach
-1 Persian cucumber
-Chopped mango
-1 small carrot, peeled & diced
-1/4 of an avocado, diced
-Honey roasted peanuts, chopped (optional) [truly any kind of nut would work just fine]

-To 1 bowl add the dressing, and to another add the Panko/cornflake crumbs with a pinch of salt & pepper
-Put all the kani pieces in the dressing, toss so all coated (add more if needed) & then transfer to the crumbs and coat with a spoon
-In a saute pan, heat a thin layer canola oil over medium-high heat.
-When oil is warm, add the kani pieces, one by one.
-Let fry a few minutes per side until golden brown.
-Prepare the salad, using more of the dressing you used for the shrimp as the dressing for the salad. Combine the lettuce/spinach, mango, cucumber, carrot, and avocado
-When the kani is done, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate
-Add warm kani to the salad
-Top with peanuts/nuts

If you never tried fake shrimp, go for it. I can't vouch for it tasting like the real stuff, but I always imagine that it does :-)

Enjoy these options!


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