Imitation crab meat or shorter is crab stick is a common ingredient in sushi. How to cook imitation crab meat can be a formula of processed seafood, which is made of finely pounded white fish meat. In Japanese, they call it Surimi, generally made of various whitefish.
Producing Surimi involves many steps, from peeling, washing, crushing and cooking the fish fleshed into a fine paste. Then flavoring and coloring are added to make it look like the leg meat of a crab.
Why Do They Make This Fake Crab Meat?
Seafood is an everyday dish for most people. Many people may not like fish or get allergies with them, but they are still hungry for food from the ocean if they can. Nowadays, seafood is easy to cook at homes, such as prawns, oysters, lobsters, squid, and crabs.
Containing Essential Supplements
Along with delicious taste, these foods also offer valuable nutrients are protein and Omega-3 acids. They are great alternatives for other meats and are favored even by people who work on building muscles.
Having a Rather High Price
However, with huge demand, the price of seafood is quite high. These foods are not for standard living, and many people cannot pay for it. To solve this problem, some imitation foods are created, especially in Japan, and then you get your crab stick in your kitchen.
This crab stick still tastes like the real thing but way cheaper.
It Is Faked But Is It Healthy to Use?
Imitation crab has its good and bad site. If you are on a diet and you love crab, you can go ahead to eat this crab stick. With less fat and calories than the actual thing, it is an ideal choice to control your weight.
- Provided calories and cholesterol
With 3-ounces of imitation crab meat, it only provides 81-calories, about 17 milligrams of cholesterol and less than 1 gram of fat. With this nutritional, the imitation crab meat is also perfect to low-cholesterol diet.
- Amount of salt
In the other hand, the amount of salt it provides is a problem. As a 3-ounces serving, this imitation crab meat gives you 715 milligrams of salt. High sodium consumption can put our health at stake, with growing the risk of high blood pressure, renal failure, and paralytic attack.
- Sodium volume
Although the sodium added by imitation crab meat is under the recommended amount, it is not the only source we get. The tip is to take advantage of the low calories in imitation crab while watch your serving size to keep your sodium consumption low.
2 Simple Methods to Know How to Cook Imitation Crab Meat
If you want to make seafood dishes which need crab meat and you are just curious to try out the crab sticks, this task will be not complicated at all. Imitation crab meat can be fairly simple to prepare; even you can eat them right away without any complicated procedure.
However, if you prefer imitation crab meat which is well-cooked, these simple steps below will help you cook it right in your own kitchen.
In the case that you are more like a healthy consumer, then steaming the imitation crab meat would be the finest way to cook it for you.
- Step 1: Prepare the steamer. Add the fresh and drinkable water in the steamer. Regarding the imitation crab meat, one or two cups of water will be enough.
- Step 2: Put the imitation crab meat directly in the strainer of the steamer. Check carefully that the crab stick is evenly positioned in that strainer to make sure that every single piece can be steamed finely.
- Step 3: Turn the steamer on and wait around 10-minutes to cook your imitation crab meat thoroughly. If your crab sticks are out for a while, then 6 minutes in the steamer will be enough. Don’t over steam your imitation crab meat or they will tear apart.
In case you prefer to have more flavors in this plain imitation crab meat, the go ahead with sautéing.
- Step 1: Heat your pan first to get an even heat
- Step 2: Add butter directly to the hot pan. Make sure you cover all over the pan with butter by tiling it. But don’t burn your butter because it will ruin all flavors.
- Step 3: Now, add the cloves of garlic and stir it. The smell is amazing and keeps stirring it until you see the golden brown on it.
- Step 4: Chop the crab sticks into equal pieces, but not too thin then add them into the pan. Carefully stir them without broken it into pieces. Wait for 5 minutes then you are ready to serve.
Simple Recipe: Imitation Crab Macaroni and Cheese
Adding imitation crab meat in your macaroni and cheese will take it to a whole new level.
- 2 1/2 cups of dry macaroni
- 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 cups of whole milk
- Salt, pepper, mustard
- 1 can of reduced cream of shrimp soup
- 8 ounces package of imitation crab meat, fine chopped
- 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
- Step 1: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the macaroni proper. Drain and place it in a casserole dish.
- Step 2: Add 2 cups of shredded cheese with macaroni while it’s still hot.
- Step 3: Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Then add the flour and mix evenly to create a paste.
- Step 4: Add milk in portions and mix until the mixture is creamy and blended. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to seasoning.
- Step 5: Add the reduced cream of shrimp soup when all the milk has been mixed. Once the sauce is completely blended and melted, add the imitation crab then stir well to cover.
- Step 6: Pour the mixture over cheese and macaroni in the braising dish. Scatter on top with extra cheese and bread crumbs.
- Step 7: Bake the mixture in a 400 degrees F in approximately 30 minutes. When you see the cheese melts and the topping are browned, you are ready to serve.
Some Pro Tips
Steam faster than ever
If you are too hungry to wait, then you will need to boil the water before doing anything else. After the water starts boiling, now you will add the food into the steamer then, wait.
This process will let the steamer fill up with a lot of steam beforehand. So whenever you place the food in, they will begin cooking immediately.
Keep imitation crab stick last longer
Like many frozen foods, the imitation crab meat may be used longer if store it in the cold freezer. Unpacked or not, just place the imitation crab meat directly in your refrigerator to extend it for days, weeks, months or even longer.
For safety, you still need to pay attention before using it again. Checking its consistency and smell first is never redundant. Make sure it has not yet changed the color and molds forming as before. If the imitation crab meat unchanged, then it is still good to eat.
Do you find it easy? As I mentioned before, you can use imitation crabmeat straight from the box, particularly if you are making cold dishes, such as salads or spring roll.
Now, you have everything you need to know the wonderful ways on how to cook imitation crab meat. Buy some and try it in some new dishes or create your own signature dish from them.