There is no crab in surimi or crab sticks.  But what is this?

There is no crab in surimi or crab sticks. But what is this?

Surimi, also called crab sticks, can be found in the fish, sushi and crab salad aisle of the supermarket. The pink and white bars are known as imitation crab, because there isn't any bit of crab in the product. But what is it made of?

Surimi ingredients

Surimi is prepared by grinding different types of white fish. Radar writes. Cod, coalfish or whiting are usually used for this purpose. First, the skin, intestines and head are removed and the fish is rinsed and cleaned. During the grinding process, a number of substances are added, such as starch and proteins. This gives the mashed fish more firmness and allows it to be fried in neat slabs.

Salt, sugar and shellfish flavors are also added as seasonings. This provides an enhanced taste experience, while the salt and sugar also extend the shelf life of the product.

Where does surimi come from?

Surimi means ground meat in Japanese and is more of a preparation method than a product. The method of grinding and adding salt and sugar has been used since the 12th century to preserve fish for a longer period.

In the 1960s, a Japanese chemist developed the surimi stick we see on our plates today. The distinctive red-orange color comes from a layer of pigment that was added to make the bars resemble long crab legs.

Is it healthy?

Surimi is a processed food, but the sticks contain a lot of protein and little bad fat. They contain few calories and are rich in vitamin B12 and minerals such as iodine, selenium and phosphorus. Real crab is more nutritious, but imitation crab is much cheaper and a great alternative to fish or crab in your meal. Athletes eat surimi sticks as a low-calorie, high-protein snack, also because you don't need to cook them before taking a bite.

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