Prep 20 mins
Cook 12 hrs
This salad is the quintessential regional dish of the Lower Alabama Gulf Coast area. It was invented by the late Bill Bayley, who owned a steak and seafood restaurant of good repute. It must be prepared exactly as directed, with careful layering. Use the coldest ice water you can find in the recipe. The longer this one marinates, the better. The recipe sounds simple, but the results are indescribably delicious. This well-guarded recipe was finally published in 1964 in the Junior League of Mobile cookbook, Recipe Jubilee. Cooking time refers to time needed to marinate (2-12 hours).
- Follow these instructions to the letter!
- Spread half of onion over bottom of large bowl.
- Cover with separated crab lumps.
- Add the remaining onion.
- Salt and pepper.
- Pour oil, vinegar and ice water over all.
- Cover and marinate 2-12 hours.
- Toss lightly before serving.
- Serve as a"salad" on a bed of lettuce or on crackers as an appetizer.
- Variation: Substitute royal red shrimp for the crabmeat.
add one pouch of rubust itialin dressing to this and enjoy. i live in mobile al and bailey's had the original recipe but trust me on this!
Do not, I repeat, do not deviate from this recipe. If you do, you will not have Bill Bayley's West Indies Salad. Save your experimenting with herbs, etc on cheaper lettuce or shrimp, not on $25/lb large lump crabmeat!!
I have been making this recipe for 40 years. Adding any extra seasonings is a definite screwup. I use half cider vinegar, and half rice wine vinegar now, as it brings up the crab flavor a little better.