Mt. Fuji King Crab Salad, 1950 – A Vintage Gelatin Recipe Test

Posted on Nov 8 2017 - 8:00am by RetroRuth

I have a rather serious unveiling this week. A serious gelatin mold unveiling. This is how emotionally invested in this I really am.


With great seriousness, I present: Mt. Fuji King Crab Salad.

Mt Fuji Gelatin Mold

3.0 from 2 reviews
Mt. Fuji King Crab Salad
  • 21 ounces of crabmeat (we used fake krab)
  • 2 packages lime flavor gelatin dessert
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons onion juice (cut an onion in half, run the flat of your knife over the cut side to get "juice")
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup finely chopped, drained unpeeled cucumber
  • Few drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons cream
  • Chicory, watercress or parsley
  1. Flake crab or krab, saving sections for garnish.
  2. Dissolve lime gelatin and salt in boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Add vinegar, onion juice, Worchestershire sauce. Chill slightly until thickened.
  3. Fold in sour cream. Blend well. Fold in cucumber and crab (or krab).
  4. Add enough green coloring to give a medium green ton to the mixture.
  5. For mold, use lightly oiled 6-cup capacity funnel, available in hardware stores. Plug hole at base with foil, pour in a little gelatin and chill to keep remaining gelatin from leaking out. Stand filled funnel upright in large measuring cup. Chill until firm.
  6. Unmold, mash cream cheese, stirring in cream. Beat until soft and fluffy. Frost top of mountain to look like snow. Garnish around the mold with greens and remaining crab chunks.

Mt Fuji Gelatin Mold II

Can you believe this thing? I can’t. I saw this cookbook and just about lost my mind. Talk about upping your gelatin game.

“I’m bringing an Under The Sea Salad mold to the party on Friday night, Judy. What are you bringing?”

“Mt. Fuji reproduced in crab-sour cream gelatin.”

Now that is a mid-century mike drop.


Anyway, I was lucky enough to discover this little wonder right before Halloween, which was fortunate because my friend Carolyn was having her annual get together with her friends, and they needed another insane craft project to reproduce while drinking. They were the ones responsible for last year’s epic Aquarium Gelatin, so I thought this (and another insane gelatin project that will be revealed at Christmas) would be perfect for them.


As they did last year, they leapt at the chance to play with gelatin on a grand scale. A mountainous grand scale. And they did it with a lot of alcohol and only the minimum loud complaining about how bad the gelatin mixture smelled.

Also, in a move I did not disagree with, they decided to use fake krab rather than real crab. And then proceeded to tediously shred it into little pieces. I was told this took forever.


Look at that gentle whisking.


And that bowl of…gelatin.

That is funky.

I was told at this point that the smell was intense and very, very bad. They also did not add additional food coloring. That is just…the normal color. Fun.


So, another byproduct of having scientists do projects and drink is that they start getting too involved in minutia. It was decided that since Mt. Fuji was big, the gelatin mold should also be big. It was also decided that the funnel I had procured was too small for a big mountain like Mt. Fuji. Also, there was too much potential for gelatin loss if they couldn’t get the seal at the neck end of the funnel just right.

The decision was made to make it in a large bowl instead of the funnel.


I was a little sad, because I wanted to make the gelatin in the funnel, but I understood their decision. But now we had the issue of the top to deal with.

Copy of IMG_3194

We went with some fancy cream cheese sculpting over a piece of cucumber that we then covered with more cream cheese. I think the look came together pretty well.

Copy of IMG_3198

Careful. Careful.


And, a cross-section in case you were interested. It actually set up very well! And it was pretty. At least to me.

Now, we just had to release it where it would do the most damage.



“This is bad.”

“I know, you could tell by the smell. Is it the fake crab?”

“No, that’s actually the best part. The chunky bits make it taste better. It’s just so sweet.”

The Verdict: Yuck

From The Tasting Notes –

Of course, this was way too sweet. I mean, the basis is dessert gelatin, so of course it was. The fake crab actually helped tie the flavor together into something that you could actually eat. The whole thing ended up tasting a bit like a really sweet tartar sauce with fake crab bits floating in it. So, not gag-inducing, but who wants to eat gelatinized tartar sauce? Not me. Not even Tom. But Carolyn and her friends had a great time making it, and it ended up being a pretty easy gelatin and the finished product was pretty in a…green sort of way. This would be a fun one if you were having a dinner party where you wanted to simultaneously impress and horrify your guests so that they didn’t invite themselves over again. Like Thanksgiving.

And, here is a little bonus for you. Carolyn and I tasting it in her kitchen. We didn’t love it.


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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Robert Reyes November 8, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Odd question, would plain unflavored gelatin and lime juice work better in this recipe are a replacement for lime flavored gelatin?

  2. jen November 8, 2017 at 9:42 am - Reply

    no…..just no. I absolutely adore crab (and krab) but this is just flat out nasty lol

  3. Bam-Bam November 8, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

    The looks on your faces was PRICELESS! Thank you for a great laugh! Once we finally finish Mad Men we’re doing a dvd finale party with gelatin entrees and desserts so I’m taking notes of your wins and losses.

  4. Katie November 8, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

    WOW! Another impressive construction! It is pretty to look at, but since I am not a fan of seafood, I can not imagine the flavor combinations of seafood and (sweet) lime flavored gelatin. A good project for Carolyn and the scientists….and, of course, the alcohol must have helped, too! I am anxious to see the reveal of the other project that you said would be coming at Christmas! You are all brave to take on these projects, and we get to enjoy the photos and stories, win-win all around!

  5. Timothy November 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Analytical expressions indeed, more retro cocktails you need.

  6. Lisa B. November 9, 2017 at 2:06 am - Reply

    No. Nonononononono.

    • Carolyn November 10, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

      This is what I was saying as my spoon headed toward Mt. Fuji. Seriously.

  7. Freezy November 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    If this is mid-century’s take on Mt. Fuji, I’d hate to see a mid-century version of The Great Wave off Kanagawa!

  8. ElleElle November 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Well, at least you had fun making it! I love the look on Carolyn’s face: “Wait for it, wait for it.”

  9. Alice November 11, 2017 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Here in Italy we have only real crab on sale… what exactly is fake crab?
    Love the lokk on the faces of the brave people who tried it 🙂

    • RetroRuth November 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Alice!

      Fake crab is a processed fish product (usually white fish) that is sweetened and then formed to look like crab legs!

  10. Marty November 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    At least it looked pretty? 😉

    The looks on everyone’s faces are priceless! Hope you guys have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

  11. Susan November 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    My husband says it looks “Fujiyummy.”

    We will never know, and I may be sleeping in the guest room tonight…

  12. Ted D. Nichols, Jr. December 12, 2017 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I love reading your posts. Going all the way back to 1984, I was in Community College for Hotel & Restaurant Management and Food Services Management simultaneously. It was a frantic fun time. In 1985 I participated in the North Carolina Culinary Olympics. One of my items was a beef stroganoff in puff pastry boxes. One of the Judges, from an Austrian Country as best I recall, commented “Your entree looks like leetle coffins”. I got a bronze medal. Still happy. I do Night Audit in a Hotel currently but still hope one day to own and operate a stainless steel diner. Sigh.

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