Do you love sushi? Regardless of where you got your sushi, you will always notice this orange and white ingredient in the middle of the roll that tastes like crab. This is what you call crab sticks, crab-like meat, or imitation crab meat. What is imitation crab? How to cook imitation crab?

Read on to find out.

What is Imitation Crab?

imitation crab photo

Photo by ilovebutter

From the name itself, you can tell that imitation crab meat is not exactly crab meat. In fact, it is made from fish called surimi and processed to taste similarly and resemble the texture of real crab.

Unlike real crab, you can conveniently buy imitation crab in grocery stores or local market at an affordable price. This is why crabsticks is a favorite in many dishes like sushi, salads, and chowder. It is a favorite addition to pasta dishes as well, so make sure you read this post on How to Make Pasta Correctly with 11 Tips.

That’s not all. Imitation crab is easy to prepare as well. Do you want to know how this is done? Then make sure you read the next sections to know how.


How to Cook Imitation Crab Meat

There are various ways to cook imitation crab, which you will learn in detail below. Before you do, make sure that you have all the kitchen tools you need to make cooking easier and hassle free. Check out this Kitchen Essentials: 10 Tools Every Kitchen Should Have post as your guide.

  1. Steam is King

Imitation crab is processed. If you want to keep it on the healthy side and minimize the effects of processed food, you can go for steaming.

You will need the following:

  • Steamer
  • Pot and strainer, in case you don’t have a steamer
  • One to two cups of water, or more depending on how many crabsticks you will steam

Here’s how to steam imitation crab:

  • Prepare the steamer and boil one to two cups of water. This will make steaming faster.
  • Once the water starts to boil, place the imitation crab meat in the strainer. Make sure that you place the meat evenly for them to be cooked thoroughly.
  • Wait for six minutes to cook if the crabmeat is not frozen, or 10 minutes if you steamed it straight from the freezer.

Make sure to check your crabmeat since over-steaming could destroy its texture and the meat will fall apart.

This is just one way on how to cook imitation crab. There are more techniques you need to know, so promise you will read until the end.

  1. Sauté is the Way

Steaming preserves the flavor of crab meat. In case you want to add more flavor to this, you can also try sautéing too.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Heat the pan.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of butter, depending on how many crabsticks you will use. Make sure to cover the base of the pan with it.
  • Pour minced or crushed garlic in the pan. Stir until the garlic turns golden brown.
  • Add imitation crab meat and sauté for five minutes.

Imitation crab is delicate, so make sure you will sauté them lightly.

  1. Make It Your Breakfast for the Day

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, you should even eat like a king to pump you up throughout the day. Believe it or not, imitation crab meat can help you with that.

Check out this breakfast idea you can try at home:

  • Heat pan then drizzle with olive oil.
  • Add your preferred chopped veggies like pepper, onion, mushroom, and carrots.
  • Once the veggies are soft, add chopped crab sticks.
  • Stir one to two eggs to form an omelet or crab scramble.
  • Add cheese for extra creaminess.

Don’t forget to serve this dish with toasted bread. If you want something that will fill you up in the morning, serve it with rice as well.

  1. Crabmeat Burger for Snack

You don’t have to use ground beef for burger all the time. In fact, crabmeat can be a good alternative in case you are craving for this comfort food.

crab burger photo

Photo by katrina.alana

Here’s how to make your own imitation cab meat burger for your snack:

  • In a bowl, combine chopped imitation crab with breadcrumbs, egg, lemon, chopped fresh dill, diced celery, mustard, and a hint of mayonnaise.
  • Mix the ingredients well then form them into small burger patties.
  • Let it chill on your refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will make cooking easier too.
  • Once stiff enough, heat pan then drizzle with olive oil.
  • Fry the crab patties until both sides are golden brown.
  • Place them on toasted burger buns and add cheese for your burger fix. If you are willing to go the extra mile, don’t forget to put sliced tomatoes and lettuce on your burger.
  1. Crabmeat Salad to Fill You Up

It’s okay if you don’t have much time to cook. You can always use imitation crab meat for salads – and it will still fill you up.

Check out this crabmeat lettuce wraps recipe:

  • In a bowl, mix Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, bell pepper, diced green onions, lemon, and chunks of imitation crabmeat.
  • Mix well then season with salt and pepper.
  • Place them on lettuce wraps and you are ready to roll.


Last Tip to Remember

Similar to other processed foods, crab sticks can last longer, even for months, as long as you place it in the freezer. Still, this doesn’t mean you just have to leave them in your freezer shelf and cook them after three months from the time you bought it.

Before doing anything with them, make sure to check the smell and consistency of imitation crab meat. It should also have the same color with how you bought them. It should also be free from molds; otherwise, it is best to toss them in the bin.

More importantly, check the expiration date. The expiration date will give you an idea as to how soon you should consume your crabmeat, so make sure you pay attention.

With these tips in mind, are you ready to learn how to cook your imitation crab meat? Surely, you can do it.