What's in fake crabmeat?

So, what’s in it? I ran a search on google and all I found were recipies calling for the stuff.


Mostly Surimi, a form of fibrous fish protein.

It’s often made from pollock or other white fish.

Fake crabs:D

Hehe. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info Chefguy and Dooku. It’s one of those silly things that my roomie and I always wondered about and never could find the answer to.


I have been in a factory where this is made.

The pollock comes in as a dry powder in heavy bags that look remarkably like bags of cement. This goes into a mixing vat with water and possibly a few other ingredients. A small amount of the resulting fish-paste goes into a smaller mixing vat where red dye is added.

The undyed and dyled pastes are extruded on to a conveyer belt, creating a wide strip of white fish-stuff with a red stripe on one edge. This is led as a continous belt through a series of ovens which bake and harden it to a rubbery consistency. After the oven the strip goes through a forming die which rolls it into a continous solid cylinder. A rotating knife slices this cylinder into chunks, which are packaged and shipped.

Oddly enough, watching the entire process didn’t put me off eating the stuff.

Mmmmm! :stuck_out_tongue:
Soylent Pink!

Forget what’s in it. Just don’t eat it for God’s sake! I used to have a girlfriend who ate crabsticks in bed. With a soft cheese called cancoillotte which smells like ripe camembert. What the hell was she thinking of?

Words are not enough, sometimes…

It has its place on the table, but when I use it I called it jellied pollock or something. It’s better if you appreciate it for its own qualities rather than try to pretend it’s something it’s not.

“…imitation crab meat has become a popular food in the United States, with annual sales of over $250 million.”

Fake crab is a quarter billion dollar a year business? I swear I learn more odd facts from reading this board…

Indeed. This was mostly an olfactive experience. But I’m not the kind of person who tells others how they should live their lives. I just avoided kissing for an hour or so.

Mmmmmmmmm Crabsticks! I could eat a whole bucket of them just dip them into horseradish sauce…

I’m not surprised surimi is so popular here. I mean, this is the land of “cheese”-in-a-can! And it’s a lot cheaper than real crab.

But for me, it has to be real crab or nothing. (FWIW, I like dungeness crab best; and I like it with butter, not in a salad.)

The Japanese are big on fishcakes. (I used to drive by a place called Ono Fishcakes downtown. I’d always shout, “Oh, nooooooo! Fishcaaaaaakes!”) They come in an amazing variety of shapes and colours. IMO, surimi has more flavour than the regular fishcakes. But while I’ll eat fishcake slices when it’s served, I prefer real seafood.

Erm… I know that fishcakes and surimi are actually seafood; but you know what I meant.

How much does actual crab taste like surimi, anyway? I can’t have crab because it’s not kosher, but I’ve always wondered what the big deal was about if it tastes anything like the fake stuff, not to mention the texture.

Surimi tastes almost, but not quite, totally unlike crab meat.

Soylent White! Goddammit!

I have a related fake crab question:

Do any sushi bars make California rolls with real crab? If you make it with real crab is it even a California roll anymore … ?

I used to have a girlfriend who ate crabsticks in our bed;
After twenty minutes, man, she smelled like she was dead.

And then she’d eat that cancoillotte, it smelled like camembert;
The stink was on her breath and skin, and even in her hair.

What the hell she was thinking of, I really cannot say;
But the stench of cheese and crabsticks stays with me to this day.