Imitation Crab: What is it and what is it good for?
01.26.2023 Beef, Seafood, Tips & Tricks
We have imitation crab on our specials list this week! You’ll often see it included in our deals because of how useful it can be in recipes. However, most people steer clear of it because of its misleading name. Today we will learn exactly what it is and how you can use it in your daily cooking🦀
What is Imitation Crab?
Of course when people see the word ‘imitation’ on any food your first thought is that it is just another fake and processed product that should most likely never be consumed by any living creature. But this time, that is just simply not the case. Imitation crab is made with Surimi, which is a paste made out of minced and washed mild white fish. Surimi was actually invented almost 1,000 years ago by Japanese chefs and it’s been considered a delicacy for most of that time.
Surimi was originally invented to make use of extra or leftover fish and wasn’t popular in the US until the ’80s. Surimi products like imitation crab must be labeled with misleading names like ‘processed seafood’ or ‘fish protein’ due to the FDA, but it’s actually a pretty healthy and nutritious food– that is if you buy the right kind. Like any food, imitation crab can be loaded with preservatives and additives to make it taste better, look better, or last longer. But it is real fish, and traditionally it’s made with Surimi, egg whites, salt, sugar, and starches. Of course, it will never beat the taste or nutrition value of real crab but it sure as hell will beat the price! Many restaurants and stores use imitation crab in their recipes and you would never know the difference, its a convenient and low- cost alternative to real crab.
How do you use it?
Because imitation crab is pre-cooked, it’s easier to prepare than canned soup. You can basically toss it into anything! My personal favorite dishes are crab cakes, pasta salad, and basically any type of salad or sushi🍥 It’s more versatile than real crab meat in my opinion, to help get you started here are some of the best things you can make with imitation crab👇