Crab and Corn Salad

As you can maybe tell from the photo below, this recipe was published in McCall’s magazine in 1997. My mother had always subscribed to McCall’s magazine, and I just recently found this torn page at her house a while back. I didn’t realize that in 1997 she was still getting the magazine. I remember the magazine from the 60’s and 70’s.

Before we moved our mother to a memory care facility in 2022, my sister and I went through her recipe books, some of which were handwritten at a young age. Unfortunately those are in French, so I’d need some translation help. Plus there were stacks of loose recipes. I was able to bring a lot home, since I’m the default recipe gal, even though my sister is an accomplished cook.

Our mother is the one, of course, who inspired me to cut out recipes from magazines and glue them on to index cards that I still have today in metal boxes. Unfortunately I never thought to write the cookbook source on those cards. In this recipe’s case, it’s obvious.

I remember well that McCall’s had some great recipes, in spite of its “housewife” appeal as a woman’s magazine.

This is a perfect example. I couldn’t wait to make it. My adaptation is much simpler; I didn’t bother with a layered version!

Crab and Corn Salad

1/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon agave
Sriracha, to taste (I used 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 pound fresh crab meat
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked until crisp-tender, cooled
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, finely chopped
Thai chili peppers, sliced, optional

Check the crab for any shells or cartilage and place on paper towels to drain any excess water.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, agave, and sriracha together. Stir in the chives, cilantro, shallot, and salt. The dressing can sit overnight in a covered jar if necessary.

To prepare the salad, gently mix together the crab, corn, red bell pepper, and cucumber.

Add the dressing and stir to combine.

Salt to taste. Chill the salad for a couple of hours before serving. This is one salad I didn’t want at room temperature. Sprinkle the servings with sliced chile peppers, if using.

The salad was really really good.

I enjoyed the “lightness” of the mayo and sour cream mixture, I loved the Sriracha, and I’m really happy I omitted the tomatoes that were in the original recipe.

This is perfect for a spring or summer luncheon.

By Published On: July 28th, 202357 Comments on Crab and Corn Salad

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Bernadette July 28, 2023 at 6:07 AM - Reply

    Delicious and I like how you kicked the heat up a notch.

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      It added a nice zing to the crab without covering up flavors!

  2. Pauline July 28, 2023 at 6:10 AM - Reply

    Yes this would be perfect for a summer luncheon Mimi. I don’t eat sweet corn anymore, but I do love it, and I reckon I could perhaps substitute green peas instead. The dressing looks really delicious. I like your adaptation and presentation of the original recipe bringing it up to the 21st century.

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      Thank you Pauline! I did a little tweaking!

  3. Travel Gourmet July 28, 2023 at 6:17 AM - Reply

    Lovely story, Mimi, and I like the way you’ve updated the recipe. I’ve got a file where I’ve stored recipes from magazines and newspapers over many years. I don’t think I’ve added to it for a long time but I do still use some of the old recipes in it.

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      There’s nothing wrong with old recipes, unless they require terrible ingredients. Old American recipes can definitely be like that. Jello comes to mind!

      • Gerlinde de Broekert July 28, 2023 at 8:54 AM

        I remember the old Mc Calls magazine. I was known to copy a recipe when they were in the doctor’s office. The salad looks great . I would love it.

      • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 10:08 AM

        Oh sure! There really were some great recipes. And my mother was very discerning!

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen July 28, 2023 at 7:40 AM - Reply

    This looks delicious! I love corn and crab together.
    My mom subscribed to McCalls as well. I couldn’t wait each month to see what Betsy was up to. I had a shoebox filled with the paper dolls and all the little outfits, which never fit from one month to the next.

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 7:51 AM - Reply

      Oh right! I forgot about Betsy! Hysterical.

  5. ajeanneinthekitchen July 28, 2023 at 7:50 AM - Reply


    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 10:09 AM - Reply

      It really was. I might make it again!

      • ajeanneinthekitchen July 28, 2023 at 10:16 AM

        I think it would definitely be a favorite in our house. :)

  6. David Scott Allen July 28, 2023 at 1:54 PM - Reply

    I love all your edits! You made it so much more interesting. Low-fat mayonnaise? No thanks. Duke’s? Yes, please! And the chile sauce is a perfect addition. Making this soon — wonderful corn this year!

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 2:51 PM - Reply

      Here, too! It’s been really sweet. And thank you.

      • David Scott Allen July 31, 2023 at 11:57 PM

        Oh my word, this was fabulous! It blew us both away and we ate the whole thing. A new favorite! Thanks so much!

      • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:25 AM

        It’s so good!!!!!

  7. July 28, 2023 at 2:07 PM - Reply

    I love your presentation much better and looks like a salad I would enjoy. I made my first gingerbread house when I was 17 and it came from a McCalls magazine. I posted it all under Family Traditions but didn’t show the date as I didn’t want any one to know how old I was – ha! ha!. Mom saved everything even my shopping list! That became a family/friend holiday tradition for almost 20 years – of course Gene gave it a new design :)

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2023 at 2:52 PM - Reply

      Oh that’s funny! And thank you! I wanted to originally use a round mold but I’m just too lazy!

  8. July 28, 2023 at 2:09 PM - Reply

    That is “how old I am now”

  9. Mary July 28, 2023 at 3:27 PM - Reply

    Lovely salad, perfect for a hot night. :))

    • Chef Mimi July 29, 2023 at 8:50 AM - Reply

      Definitely. It rare that I want to eat a somewhat chilled salad, but this one works chilled.

  10. Ron Jardot July 28, 2023 at 5:11 PM - Reply

    Sounds like a perfect summer salad, and you can’t go wrong with Dukes !

    • Chef Mimi July 29, 2023 at 8:49 AM - Reply

      Nope! I love the stuff!

  11. Sherry Mackay July 29, 2023 at 12:41 AM - Reply

    the presentation in the magazine looks very 70s :) I love the sound of crab and corn. And the dressing sounds really delicious!

    • Chef Mimi July 29, 2023 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      Yes, it really does! The dressing is fantastic. Love Sriracha!

  12. July 29, 2023 at 12:55 AM - Reply

    Looks like a wonderful crab salad Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi July 29, 2023 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      Thank you Neil!

  13. Jeff the Chef July 29, 2023 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    I love a recipe that has a story behind it, like this one. And I also think I’d love crab with corn in a salad!

    • Chef Mimi July 29, 2023 at 2:47 PM - Reply

      Well you have good taste! It was really good.

  14. Hannah Kaminsky July 29, 2023 at 9:03 PM - Reply

    Oh I love vintage recipes! They’re so much fun, and a really interesting window into the past. You revived this one beautifully!

    • Chef Mimi July 30, 2023 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Hannah!

  15. Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 30, 2023 at 12:51 AM - Reply

    Your version looks much nicer. As we don’t get crab here I will try this with lobster.

    • Chef Mimi July 30, 2023 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      Well that certainly sounds wonderful!

  16. Ann Coleman July 30, 2023 at 1:59 PM - Reply

    Looks great! Sometimes all those old recipes need is a little tweak.

    • Chef Mimi July 30, 2023 at 8:37 PM - Reply

      Definitely! Thanks, Ann!

  17. Raymund July 30, 2023 at 7:05 PM - Reply

    Wow, that Crab and Corn Salad looks absolutely delicious! It’s so heartwarming to hear about the memories connected to this recipe from McCall’s magazine in 1997 and your mom’s subscription to it. Going through her handwritten recipe books and loose recipes must have been a special journey down memory lane. It’s a shame about the French recipes, but maybe you can find some translation help to explore those flavors too.

    • Chef Mimi July 30, 2023 at 8:38 PM - Reply

      Thank you. That’s a sweet comment. My sister is still fluent in French, so I’ll use her translation services, hopefully!

  18. Ronit Penso July 31, 2023 at 11:19 AM - Reply

    I really like the combination of ingredients in this salad, especially when using Duke, which is my favorite mayonnaise.
    Your presentation is so much better than the one in the photo! :)

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:27 AM - Reply

      I almost used a round mold, but got too lazy to do that, too!

  19. Valentina July 31, 2023 at 8:10 PM - Reply

    I love going through my mom’s recipe collections and finding gems like this. They become so much more than the food. The salad does sound so tasty. I always love pairing summer corn with shrimp, crab or lobster. The perfect match. :-) ~Valentina

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:26 AM - Reply

      Lobster would be excellent as well. Of course!

  20. Velva August 1, 2023 at 9:55 AM - Reply

    Chef Mimi, this is beautiful summer dish to serve up to friends and family. Crab and corn are a natural pairing. Delicious.


    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:25 AM - Reply

      They really are! Such a fabulous salad.

  21. Eva Taylor August 1, 2023 at 3:02 PM - Reply

    What a fabulous summer recipe. I often “lighten” mayo with yogurt because I find it a little too rich. We just grilled some ‘first Ontario corn’ that I cut off the cobs, they would make a fabulous addition to this tasty meal.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:25 AM - Reply

      I really like mayo, but there is a flavor, so I lighten typically with sour cream. Same difference. Great recipe!

  22. Abbe@This is How I Cook August 1, 2023 at 3:47 PM - Reply

    Yum, yum! I know about those pages of recipes, as we just finished moving my mom into assisted living. Sad to say I just couldn’t add her pile to mine. However I did get a bunch of new cookbooks to add to my collection! This looks fabulous and just proves that good ingredients combined simply are some of the best!

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      Exactly. Sorry about your Mom. We are at that age…

  23. Cynthia M Woodman August 1, 2023 at 6:58 PM - Reply

    I love salads like this when the temperatures soar! Can’t wait to see what new recipes you come up with after your SE Asia trip!

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      Oh thanks1 I’ve already offered up a Turkish breakfast, but I need to research more what we had in Malaysia and ndonesia.

  24. carrietalkingmeals August 2, 2023 at 5:22 AM - Reply

    Yum! I love the spicy elements to this crab salad. We just spent several weeks in Maryland and were able to enjoy the delicious lump crab cakes there, so I’m looking forward to try this.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:22 AM - Reply

      Ohhh my. I’m so jealous!!!!

  25. Frank Fariello August 3, 2023 at 6:54 AM - Reply

    Wow, a McCall’s from the 1990s is probably the last place I’d expect to find nice recipes, but this looks and sounds delicious! Makes me want to go back and take another look at our Mom’s old recipes and Lady’s Club cookbooks. There may be some hidden gems in there…

    Btw if you need help translating those recipes in French, don’t hesitate to ask.

    • Chef Mimi August 5, 2023 at 7:19 AM - Reply

      Oh my, I forget you speak so many languages! My sister is still fluent. She lives there part of the year. But not me. I forgot it all, except for ordering food! And thanks!

  26. terrie gura August 31, 2023 at 8:11 AM - Reply

    Just this with a glass of white wine, please. I love your modern, no-fuss take on this vintage salad! It’s funny that you have old magazine recipes; I just found a stash of them in one of my old recipe boxes and I’m planning a few revamps myself, starting at Thanksgiving! 😁

    • Chef Mimi August 31, 2023 at 1:31 PM - Reply

      Oh, fun! They really are nice to have, and to also see the evolution of cooking!

  27. […] Crab and Corn Salad is a summery delight, featuring sweet corn kernels and tender crab meat as stars. With a dressing of creamy mayonnaise and a splash of tangy lime, it’s a perfect balance of flavors. Fresh basil adds an aromatic touch, making this salad a memorable side dish or light meal. […]

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