Surimi Ceviche (Imitation Crab Meat)

Surimi Ceviche
Surimi Ceviche

Surimi ceviche? A good friend of mine recently revealed that she made ceviche using this popular Asian product for a family get-together. She explained that it was an easy, inexpensive way to offer her guests something exotic. Within minutes of serving it up, she realized that she had a hit on her hands. They loved it! In fact, they asked that she make it for the next gathering. This incident reminded me that you must know your audience when setting the menu.

Surimi (literally “ground meat” in Japanese) is a paste that is available in many shapes, forms, and textures, and often used to mimic the texture and color of the meat of lobster, crab, and other shellfish. The most common surimi product in the Western market is imitation crabmeat made with Pollock, often going by the name of Krab, imitation crab meat, poor mans crab and crab sticks. Think of surimi as the seafood equivalent of a hotdog.

I must admit that I am not a huge fan of surimi, but I realize that it has its place in the world. It is kind of fun to have seafood shaped like fun animal characters!

Fun surimi
Fun surimi

Although surimi is considered seafood, one of my pet peeves is when sushi restaurants and sandwich shops charge a premium for products made with this product versus real crabmeat. Real crab cost three times as much, has a shorter shelf life and a more delicate crab flavor than its doppelgänger.

Companies like Trans-Oceans publish the ingredient and nutritional information for their imitation product. Check it out:

If you want more on surimi, the TV show Unwrapped focused on the topic in one episode,

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I’m Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, affectionately known as The Posh Pescatarian. I’m a sustainable seafood enthusiast and love sharing recipes, education, and tips for making incredible pescatarian meals. I am an industry expert and an authoritative voice on the pescatarian lifestyle. When I’m not working on new recipes in my lab (AKA: my kitchen!) I enjoy traveling and learning about people, places and culture through food, ingredients, and cooking techniques. I share some of my experiences on my TV show Appetite for Adventure!



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