The imitation crab meat was first introduced in 1975 in Japan by Y. Sugino and K. Osaki. It was then introduced in the US in 1983 by the Japanese company Yamasa Enterprises. Let’s read Where does imitation crab meat come from?
Imitation meat then revolved around with the new generation and it grew its horizon for individuals who opted vegetarian or vegan ingredient products.
Imitation crab meat is a replacement for meat. It is a substitute for meat products made of vegetarian or vegan ingredients. These meat attempt to be more so a healthy option with the same taste, flavour and texture as that of meat product. Imitation meat was first introduced as an alternative for customers who were allergic to the ingredients used in the products, more so in the products including sea food as their main ingredients.
What is Imitation Crab Meat?
Crab meat is used in stick frozen forms which is made of crab meat and finely pulverised with starch. The form of the crab meat is to imitate the leg of a crab. Imitation crab meat is a replacement for the products crab meat which is used in many occasions but is highly used for making sushi. Imitation crab meat is not for vegetarians or the vegan community. It is made of products of fish which is not of any family of crab.
How Did Imitation Crab Meat Become Popular?
The use of imitation crab meat began in the Asian countries, as the dish sushi is highly popular but the pricing of crab meat was expensive and not easily affordable; but easy availability of fish such as pollock. This encouraged the chefs of Asian countries, mostly Japan, to introduce imitation crab meat.
How Is Imitation Crab Meat Made?
It is made of Surimi, which is a fine paste made of either other varieties of fish or sometimes meat. It is pulverised and shaped in stick form for easy use and application. The most common fish used for surimi is Pollock.
The imitation meat is thoroughly made to taste like crab, the texture, the finesse, the taste all similar to crab meat. The meat is made by pulverising the meat, binding it with starch, egg white and other ingredients to flavour it and by using MSG for an added flavour.
How does Imitation Crab Meat look?
The imitation crab meat in restaurants is spelled as Crab meat, with a “K” to let others know that it is an imitation of crab and not crab meat itself.
The imitation crab meat is in white colour topped with red colouring to make it look like crab legs. It is usually sold in frozen packets, which needs to be stored in the freezer for a long lasting period to prevent it from going bad.
How Can Someone Eat The Imitation Crab Meat?
The imitation meat can be eaten raw, has it been pre-cooked before binding into form and packaged. The meat can be used in various dishes, such as California rolls which are a type of sushi which specifically use imitation crab meat only or other sushi’s. It can be used in salads, soup, pasta and rolls as well. The use of imitation meat is limited by one’s imagination only.
The imitation crab meat is a good substitute but for ones who prefer a vegetarian or vegan option are at loss when it comes to this. Individuals who are following the keto diet cannot use this product as well.
Plant based Crab meat
As of recent due to increased demand in the dietary needs of various communities indulging themselves in plant-based products, crab meat is made plant based as well. There are vegan companies which have introduced plant-based crab sticks made of artichoke and cauliflower.
Jackfruit; a fruit usually grown in the Asian countries which is similar in texture to meat, is also used for plant-based crab sticks. However, the taste of plant-based crab meat fails to be completely similar to the imitation crab meat or crab sticks itself, it does give a sense of enjoying crab sticks
Is Imitation Crab Meat Healthy?
The imitation meat is not harmful to health and can be consumed regularly. It does not have nutritional values as that of real crab sticks as it is an imitation but it is not harmful to health when consumed at a set quantity.
The ingredients and substitution to the crab sticks makes imitation crab meat a great alternative for those who are having a dietary restriction or prefer products of certain calorie counts. The imitation crab meat is of low calories and low-fat content making it the perfect substitution for crab sticks.
Frequently Asked Question
- Is imitation Crab meat real crab meat?
No, Imitation crab meat is seafood, which is fish and not real crab meat.
- Is imitation crab meat vegan?
No, imitation crab meat is not vegan as it contains fish and egg whites, but there is vegan imitation available.