Midwestern Crab Louie

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Midwestern Crab Louie presents a creamy dressing loaded with imitation crab meat and shrimp, infused with a spicy kick from chili garlic sauce.

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Midwestern Crab Louie

Crab Louie, also known as Crab Louis, typically features a salad bed topped with Dungeness crab and a hard-boiled egg, all dressed in a creamy pinkish dressing. However, this recipe ventures into uncharted territory by incorporating imitation crab and shrimp directly into the dressing itself, creating what could be dubbed Seafood Louie. While reminiscent of Thousand Island dressing, this concoction boasts a smoother texture and a bold flavor profile.

Midwestern Crab Louie Recipe

As with many recipes, there exist numerous variations of Crab Louie. This recipe comprises two components: the seafood mixture and the Louie dressing.

Midwestern Crab Louie

Understanding Imitation Crab

Imitation crab, made from whitefish paste and fillers known as ‘surimi’, bears little resemblance to real crab. Despite being technically seafood, it contains higher levels of salt and preservatives compared to fresh crab. While canned lump crabmeat offers a more authentic option, it’s precooked, making it a convenient and budget-friendly alternative for recipes like Crab Louie or California rolls.

Frozen vs. Fresh Shrimp

For this recipe, frozen, peeled, deveined, and cooked shrimp are used. Tail removal may be necessary, and if using larger shrimp, consider chopping them into smaller pieces. Thaw the shrimp before incorporating them into the recipe. Alternatively, fresh shrimp require precooking; simply sauté them in olive oil until opaque and pinkish in color.

Midwestern Crab Louie

Making Midwestern Crab Louie

Combine the crab meat, shrimp, celery, green onions, diced bell pepper, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, chili sauce, and heavy whipping cream. Combine the dressing with the seafood mixture, tossing to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a day before serving.

How to Serve Midwestern Crab Louie

Traditionally, Crab Louie is served over lettuce, dressed with creamy crab dressing, and garnished with tomato, hard-boiled egg, and asparagus. Additional options include adding avocado or serving in individual salad cups for a unique presentation and appetizer. Alternatively, enjoy the spicy dressing with crackers for a different twist. This versatile recipe can be served in various ways, from sandwiches to salads.

Midwestern Crab Louie


Seafood Mixture

  • 3 cups (340 g) imitation crabmeat chunks
  • 1 bag (16 ounces / 454 g) frozen cooked shrimp, tail off, peeled, and deveined, thawed and chopped
  • ½ cup (75 g) celery, diced
  • ¼ cup (15 g) green onions, minced
  • ¼ cup (40 g) green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice

Louie Dressing

  • 1 cup (240 ml) mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chili garlic sauce
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine crab meat, shrimp, celery, green onions, diced bell pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, chili sauce, and heavy whipping cream. Mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the seafood mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Midwestern Crab Louie

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