West Indies Salad

Yield 4-6
25 ratings

Alabama restaurateur William “Bill” Bayley created the exotic-sounding West Indies salad — layers of onions and crabmeat soaked in oil and vinegar — in 1947. You can order the original at Bayley’s Seafood Restaurant in Theodore and variants at restaurants throughout Lower Alabama.


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound fresh crab claw meat, picked through for shells and cartilage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup ice water


  1. Spread half the chopped onion over the bottom of a large bowl. Cover with separated crab lumps and then the remaining onion.
  2. Season with salt and pepper. Add the oil and vinegar.
  3. Strain the ice through a sieve to remove the ice cubes, then add the well-chilled water to the salad. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
  4. Toss lightly, then taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.

Ingredients used in this recipe