Crab Salad on Crackers

Matt Lee

Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook (W.W. Norton & Company, 2006)

A celery-infused dressing packs extra flavor into this delicious and simple crab salad. Serve it on crispy water crackers at your next cocktail party.


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 pinches celery seed, ground finely in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 large rib celery, halved lengthwise and sliced very thinly
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 8 ounces fresh blue crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and celery seed. Add the sliced celery, making sure that the brine completely covers it. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Drain the celery, reserving the brine, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and 1 tablespoon of the celery brine until well combined. Break up the crabmeat with a fork, then add to the bowl. Add the celery and chives; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and remaining celery brine.

Chill for at least an hour and no more than 24 hours. (The salad tastes best when given more time for the flavors to meld.) Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving and let come to room temperature. Serve on the thinnest water crackers you can find.


About two dozen hors d’oeuvre