Jaiva is a cheap, fresh, and delightful imitation of crab meat. Most people use Jaiva as a snack to add to kids’ pack lunches, but you can do so much more with this healthy and affordable ingredient!
I’m going to show you 25 of the best jaiva recipes on the internet so you can make the most out of these affordable treasures!
If you are wondering how “imitation crab meat” could be healthy, let me explain. Real crab meat is absolutely healthier than tJaiva because it has fewer carbohydrates and less sugar.
However, its imitation crab meat is still made of fish. In fact, it is made of a fish paste called Surimi. This means you are still getting the nutrients you would expect from crab meat, just not as much as the real thing.
1. Jaiva – Learn By Cooking
Let’s start off easy with Learn By Cooking’s recipe, which despite their name, is actually a “no cook” recipe.
Instead, you use fresh ingredients like cucumber, avocado, and tomatoes, chop them up along with the Jaiva, and mix them together.
After leaving them in the refrigerator for an hour, the flavors will have blended together, and you’ll have created a refreshing and light salad!
Learn By Cooking suggests adding their salad onto a small tortilla to create a pretty and tasty starter.
2. Mexican Crab Cocktail – Onion Rings and Things
This time I am going spicy! Onion Rings and Things have created a salad recipe too, but the cocktail juice they have made gives a zingy kick that pairs perfectly with the salty nature of the Jaiva.
Unlike Learn By Cooking, this salad recipe doesn’t need an hour in the refrigerator to blend the flavors together as the spicy sauce speeds up this process.
Instead, Onion Rings and Things suggest letting the salad sit for around 10 minutes.
3. Mexican Crab Tostadas (Tostadas de Jaiba) – Just A Pinch
I swear not every dish I’m going to show you is a salad, but for now, let’s take a look at Just A Pinch’s version of a Jaiva salad.
Unlike the other salads I have seen so far, this recipe uses a cup of mayonnaise and not just any mayonnaise; they use “mayonesa.”
Mayonesa is just like American mayonnaise, but there is an added Mexican flavor. Drum roll, please……. Lime Juice!
The zing gives the salad a subtle kick to the flavor, unlike Onion Rings and Things’ powerfully spicy flavor. So if you are looking for a salad that gives you a little bit of acidity, try out Just A Pinch’s Tostadas de Jaiba.
4. Stone Crab Chilean Casserole – Chilean Food and Garden
You can breathe easy now as this isn’t another salad recipe. Instead, I am moving to a traditional Chilean recipe.
In fact, this recipe is so well-loved that you will find this dish in every restaurant in Chile’s capital, Santiago.
Chilean Food and Garden have added a crab claw for decoration, but don’t let that intimate you.
You can use your Jaiva, crab meat imitation, in this dish, and it will still create the exquisite taste that Chilean Food and Garden had envisioned.
5. Tostadas de Jaiba en Salpicón – Serious Eats
If you want to create a snack instead of a side or a main, try out this Nacho recipe! I know what you’re thinking, “crab on top of nachos, won’t that make it soggy?” luckily, no, it doesn’t! This is because of the cooling part of the recipe.
First, you cook up the Tostadas ingredients and boil some potatoes, then you combine the Jaiva, herbs, and potatoes, and chuck it into the refrigerator.
Here you let the mixture rest for an hour while you create the dressing, and when the hour is up, you plate it all together.
If you don’t want a soggy nacho, simply don’t drizzle the dressing on. Simple!
6. Tostadas de Jaiba – Kiwilimon
Okay, so a lot of these recipes have the same name, but the flavors and textures are completely different.
In Kiwilmon’s recipe, you end up with a refreshing paste of crab meat and paprika to add onto little tapas-style tortillas to serve as a side, a starter, or part of your tapas banquet.
Ideally, you should use corn tortillas to create a truly harmonious Mexican flavor. This tiny delight is perfect for showing off your cooking skills, and you won’t even need an oven to make the Tostadas de Jaiba.
7. The Ultimate Crab Cakes – Food Network
This crab cake recipe is a filling and hearty winter dinner. It serves between 6 to 8 people, which means there’ll be leftovers or seconds!
The recipe itself suggests using jumbo lump crabmeat, but Jaiva will work just as well. If you are worried about a lack of flavor in compassion to what Food Network was trying to create, then add in an extra ½ pound of Jaiva.
Only do this if you want a really fishy taste because the additional crab meat will change the structure of the crab cakes, making them less stable. But if you care more for flavor than for looks, then go ahead with the extra ½ pound!
8. Mike’s Jaiba Enchilada – Family Cookbook Project
The Family Cookbook Project is a beautiful website made up of family recipes from all over the world. This particular enchilada recipe was submitted by Mickey and Gloria as their father, Mike Garcia, made this delicious dish.
It is a spicy fish dish that was often served at the beach or in Tampa Bay to Mike’s big family of 3 sisters and 3 brothers. You can taste the depth of history in this beautiful Jaiba delight.
9. Chilpachole de Jaiba (Spicy Crab Soup) – A Beaner On The Frontier
A Beaner on the Frontier has added a twist to the classic beef or chicken stew by replacing the meat Jaiva and other seafood and adding spicy flavors!
The name itself translates from the Spanish “Chilpachole de Jaiba” to “Hot mess with crab,” but don’t get distracted by the word “mess” because, in the military world, “mess” simply means food.
The Chilpachole de Jiba is a hot and crab flavored soup with 3 different types of chilies to add. If you are worried that the dish will be too spicy for you, I suggest serving some bread on the side.
10. Pastel De Jaiba – Food
This crabby and cheese recipe is perfect for a cold seaside evening. Use whatever cheese you have available, but aim for a smokey and salty variety.
11. Pastel de Jaibas (Chilean Crab Casserole) – Wine Enthusiast
Ideally, this recipe should be made with Dungeness crab meat, but Jaiva crab imitation can work just as well!
12. Cauliflower Ceviche – Dora’s Table
This recipe suggests using cauliflower instead of Jaiva, but I think added strips of Jaiva into the mix will make this dish even better!
13. Crab Salad – Dinner At The Zoo
It’s another salad dish, I know, but this creamy dressing is worth it!
14. Chilpachole of Crab in Green – Larousse Cocina
Larousse Cocina has taken this traditional Chilpachole dish and has created a green sauce to go with it instead!
15. Crab Salad Recipe – Add A Pinch
This small salad starter is delicately placed inside a small tomato to create a burst of flavor!
16. Shrimp Ceviche – Yummly
This watery shrimp dish can be elevated with strips of Jaiva added right at the end of the recipe.
17. Jaiba Ceviche (Mexican Crab Salad) – Izzy Cooking
This fresh and delightful appetizer has its origins in Peru! Make sure to keep some lemon and lime juice on the table to keep that zing going!
18. Crab Ceviche – All Recipes
Another sala recipe, but this one packs a punch with the 3 serrano peppers in the ingredients list!
19. Tostadas De Ensalada De Jaiva – Key Ingredient
The cucumber in this salad keeps the freshness alive!
20. Tostadas De Ceviche – Honest Food
The best tostadas de ceviche have coarse tortillas, ideally made from corn. Check out this recipe to make your own tortillas with the tostadas de ceviche!
21. Crab Curry – Food Network
The Food Network wants you to use snow crab and king crab, but using the much cheaper Jaiva will work just as well!
22. Jaiba Feliz (Happy Crab) – The Cowgirl Gourmet
My favorite part of this salad recipe is the vinaigrette and the healthy display. This attractive display would win over your dinner guests!
23. Shrimp and Crab Ceviche on Fried Tortillas – Saveur
An Edible plate with Mexican flavors. Don’t mind if I do!
24. Oyster Stew – Food Network
The ingredients list is miles long, but the end result feels like a trip. Try it out!
25. Crab Strudel – Food Network
This recipe is hard to master, but that just means you get to have it again and again until you get it right!