The exciting fact about food is you can substitute most items with something else when you don’t have the original one.
Seafood is one such item that you can replace with another ingredient.
For instance, if you want crabs but don’t have them, you can use imitation crab as an alternative.
Of course, it isn’t exactly like real crab meat, but it packs plenty of flavor, and you can make numerous dishes with it.
But what does imitation crab taste like exactly? If you’re also wondering what flavor it has, why look further?
In the following paragraphs, we will try to find out the taste of imitation crab and some crucial aspects of the food ingredient, including how to cook, use and serve the item.
What is Imitation Crab?
Also called crab sticks, imitation crab is a seafood item made from mashed and cured white fish (surimi) and starch.
Manufacturers make the item into shapes that look like the leg meat of snow crab or Japanese spider crab.
It’s a food invented to substitute shellfish like crab, lobster and others.
While some companies may use other white fish, the most prominent manufacturers use the Alaska Pollock of the cod genus Gadus.
Initially created in Japan, imitation crab has become famous the world over.
You can also find products from several brands but be aware that not all are top-grade items.
But many online outlets deal in crab sticks, so you can order top-quality products from the comforts of your home.
When you’re out of shellfish and you need it, you can use crab sticks in most dishes, and you will still have great flavors.
What Does Imitation Crab Taste Like?
The creators of the ingredient came up with imitation crab to substitute seafood.
But what is its taste exactly? It’s ‘crab’ but contains fish, so its flavor has a fishy taste.
It may also contain some other ingredients depending on the brand.
So, aroma and flavor are likely to vary from one to another.
Imitation crab is slightly salty but has a mild flavor.
Some varieties may also have a subtle sweet taste.
It’s tasty and versatile but doesn’t taste anything like real crab meat.
The texture may be rubbery but chewy at the same time.
The product has many nicknames, such as fishcakes, crab sticks, seafood sticks, krab sticks or kanikama, which refers to imitation crab in Japanese.
While it may not taste exactly like real crab, it can be a suitable substitute when you’re short of the real thing.
Regarding nutritional value, real crab is more nutritious, but imitation crab also contains several nutrients.
For instance, a 3oz real crab has 16g protein while the same quantity of crabsticks has only 6g protein.
Since crab sticks have starch, it is not gluten-free too, but real crab meat is gluten-free.
Actual crab meat also provides a higher amount of vitamins and minerals than imitation crab.
The latter also has more sugar and crabs compared to the former.
Since it isn’t that nutritious, it’s essential to limit the intake.
Even if you love it, eat the crab sticks in moderate amounts to maintain good health.
How to Cook and Use Imitation Crab?
One positive aspect about imitation crab is that you can also find canned products.
So, you can create multiple dishes with the ingredient.
Whenever you wish to eat crab but can’t find it, you can use the kanikama.
Like most seafood, crab sticks pair up nicely with many ingredients.
So, you can make various types of dishes.
The manufacturers cook the component during the curing process so you can eat it without further cooking.
You can check out the local supermarket for top brands or order the items online.
You can use the seafood sticks to make Asian-inspired dishes or other items as per requirements and availability of ingredients.
The following are some items which you can make with crab sticks.
- Soups .
- Enchiladas .
- Pasta dishes.
You can use the ingredient to make many other items.
The number of recipes is enormous.
So, you can collect these, get the ingredients and make delicious items for any occasion.
If you intend to cook crab sticks, ensure that they don’t overcook, or they won’t taste good, and all your efforts will be meaningless.
Imitation crab is readily available these days, so whenever you wish to enjoy seafood, you can grab a few packets from the market and make yummy dishes.
With so many recipes available, you have the chance to make many items.
When you use the right ingredients, the imitation crab meat will taste even better.
It obviously won’t taste exactly like real crab, but it will be a suitable replacement, and it will be like eating seafood.
If you’re gluten-intolerant, look for products that don’t contain ingredients that have gluten.
You should also try to consume the ingredient only in moderate quantities so that it doesn’t affect your health adversely and you still can enjoy the flavors.