Crab sticks are made of finely pulverized white fish flesh (surimi), shaped and cured to resemble crab leg meat.
Pollock from the North Pacific is commonly the main ingredient, often mixed with egg white (albumen) or other binding ingredient. Artificial flavouring is added, and a layer of red food colouring is applied to the outside.
The sticks are packaged displayed in a transparent shrink wrap cover. Individual sticks in many forms are coloured red or yellowish red on the outside, with a rectangular cross-section or a cross-section fibre showing white inside meat. In some forms, strings can be torn from the stick in a similar manner to string cheese. The texture is rubbery, with a salty taste and smell similar to steamed crab.
Quality imitation crab is usually lower in cholesterol than real crab meat, but is also highly processed. Since they are cooked during the curing process, Crab Sticks can be eaten cold from the package.
Five fun facts:
- Crab Sticks are often used in salads.
- Some sushi rolls - for example California Roll - use crab sticks.
- Kosher Crab sticks can be used in any recipe that calls for crab or seafood.
- These crab sticks are also used in mock crab cakes.
- You can find kosher crab sticks in the freezer section of your kosher grocery.
Five "crab" recipes:
- Mock Crab Summer Rolls with Thai Dipping Sauce- Summer rolls are those delightful paper-thin rice disks that you dip in warm water to soften (no cooking!), fill with virtually anything you like, roll and dip in the sauce of your choice: I love the suggested Thai dipping sauce, but you could use Teriyaki sauce, or even a mixture of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce and nothing more. Seeing the filling through the translucent skins makes it even more fun. It would be alright to make them earlier in the day and bring them to room temperature at serving time, maybe even a day before, just as long as you don’t let the rolls touch, or they might get stuck. Use your imagination and personal preference and use any filling you like, always keeping the selection short and to the point: rice noodles (soak in hot water, drain and cut smaller with scissors), diced cooked or smoked chicken, grated carrots, julienned snow peas, thinly sliced nappa cabbage, finely shredded kale, seaweed pre-soaked in hot water, chopped peanuts, etc…. Don’t let the fragile looking disks daunt you: You might ruin and have to discard a couple before you get the hang of it, but you will have fun learning and rolling, right on the job!
- Creamy Mock Crab Salad- This is also delicious on challah rolls, kaiser rolls, or your favorite sandwich bread.
- "California Roll" Salad- Sushi, salad-style.
- Creamed Corn and Crab Pumpkin Soup- Sometimes, a delicious and unique recipe only needs a few simple and healthy ingredients. In this case, all of the items came right out of my pantry and freezer and I’ll bet you have similar inspiration in your own kitchen! This dish is definitely a new healthy Fall favorite for me and might even pop up at my Thanksgiving table.
- Tomato crab bisque - A creamy crab bisque that tastes just like the real thing!
Click for more "crab" recipes.
Nutrition information per one crab stick:
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 16 g