Crab Louie (sometimes spelled Louis) is a popular seafood salad believed to have originated in the Pacific Northwest around the early 1900s. Ingredients for the salad depend on the cook and the restaurant, and an alternate version known as the Seafood Louie includes small shrimp. Crab Louie ingredients range from the most basic-Dungeness crab meat, crisp cookbook:lettuce, hard-boiled egg, tomato, avocado and Louie dressing|-to more elaborate (and expensive) salads which can include such things as asparagus, artichoke hearts, olives, cucumbers, green onions, and bay shrimp (making it a Seafood Louie).
The origin and naming of the Crab Louie has been obscured by the passing of time, but it is generally agreed that it was invented at one of the gourmet hotels on the West Coast of the United States, probably in San Francisco, where the Dungeness crab is extremely abundant and popular. A good Louie salad should have ample large chunks of Dungeness crab, the lettuce should be superb, crisp and cold, the accompanying veggies colorful and fresh. The dressing, which can be served on the side or already in the salad, should be a combination of tangy, spicy, zesty and rich flavors that compliment but don't overpower the salad, giving the taste buds an extra kick.