Russian salad

The first time my husband and I travelled together was as friends, with another dear friend of ours, Nao, to Bilbao. They were to visit the Guggenheim and I was on my way home for mothers day.

A lovely friend of ours , Gemma, had managed to persuade him to let me show them around San Sebastian which she , a lady from my beloved Barcelona, described as the most beautiful city ever.

My parents picked us up from the airport and we parted ways in Bilbao, until the two days later when they decided to take the bus and join me in San Sebastian.

When we met, they talked to me about the small dishes they had sampled ( pintxos) the slightly sparkling white wine ( txakoli) they tasted and how much they had been surprised by San Sebastian Bay as they arrived from the bus station…. But my husband also told me about the “menu of the day” they had nearby the Guggenheim where they had sampled this delicious dish they needed to know of…. Yes, it was no other than the Ensaladilla rusa. Oh my how I laughed! So cute.

Cooking time: 15 minutes + 1 hour chilling time+ 5 minutes
Serves: this mix will makes two bowls like the one in the image. Could serve as side dish to 8 people.


1. All vegetables need to be cut to the same size. If you decide to use fresh ones, bear this in mind please, ltherwise you might gat mushy potatoes.

2. If you choose to make your own mayo, please take care and do not use egges which are not fresh. Also, if it is summer, do not leave them outside. Put them in the fridge or hou could suffer.

3. If crab meat is too expensibe, you can use tuna instead, and many even love the crab sticks too.


2 fist size potatoes diced to 5cm cubes. King Edward would be good.
Same amound of a frozen vegetables mix containing : carrots, green beans, peas and corn
A hard boiled egg (8 minutes) cut in the same size cubes
A 450 gr tin of good quality crab meat
A pot of pre made mayonnaise (specially in the summer)
Black pepper

Cooking instructions:

You need to boil all the vegetables until potatoes are soft . Make sure that you keep an eye on it as the potatoes are very fragile and break very quickly.

You can boil the egg in a separate pan at the same time.

Leave the vegetables and egg to fully cool. Once everything has cooled off, flake the crab meat and remove any cartilage .

Mix the cool vegetables and egg with the crab meat.

Add mayo to taste. I like it a bit dry, as shown in the image, but this is very personal. Add a pinch of pepper and you are good to go.

Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Toru Saeki

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