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Crab sticks - imitation crab meat made from surimi.
Sugiyo "Kaori-hako"

Crab sticks (imitation crab meat, seafood sticks, krab) are a form of kamaboko, a processed seafood made of finely pulverized white fish flesh (surimi), shaped and cured to resemble leg meat of snow crab or Japanese spider crab.[1]

Crab flakes use the same mixture to form flakes instead of sticks to resemble crab meat or lobster meat.


Sugiyo Co., Ltd. (スギヨ Sugiyo?) of Japan first produced and patented imitation crab meat in 1973, as Kanikama. This was a flake type. In 1974,Osaki Suisan Co., Ltd. of Japan first produced and patented imitation crab sticks.

In 1976, The Berelson Company of San Francisco, CA USA, working with Sugiyo, introduced them internationally. Kanikama is still their common name in Japan, but internationally they are marketed under names including Krab Sticks, Ocean Sticks, Sea Legs and Imitation Crab Sticks. Legal restrictions now prevent them from being marketed as "Crab Sticks" in many places, as they usually do not have crab meat.[2]

Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) from the North Pacific is commonly the main ingredient, often mixed with egg white (albumen)[1] or other binding ingredient, such as the enzyme transglutaminase.[3] Crab flavoring is added (either artificial or crab-derived), and a layer of red food coloring is applied to the outside.

Individual sticks in many forms are colored red or yellowish red on the outside, with a rectangular cross-section or a cross-section fiber 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. Cross fiber is manufactured to be similar to the texture and fiber of snow crab or king crab legs.[citation needed]


Imitation crab meat is made from fillets of Alaska pollock which are passed through a machine which removes fish scale, skin and bone, and grinds the flesh. Once the fish has been minced, it is washed with water in a process known as leaching. Leaching cleans the minced meat and also removes some water soluble nutrients. Next, the minced meat goes through a refining machine which separates soft white fish meat from the hard dark brown meat, followed by a screw press which removes excess water. The active proteins are frozen and prevented from degradation with the help of cryoprotective compounds such as sugar and sorbitol. The surimi is finally packaged in polyethylene bags in 22 pound blocks kept in freezers at -20℃.

To make the imitation crab meat, surimi is heated from -20℃ to -4℃ to allow for proper slicing into smaller pieces. The crab meat recipe includes ingredients that enhance the crab-like taste, including natural crab meat, starch, and egg whites. They are then mixed together in a large bowl grinder in a process called comminution and the final mixture is transported to a holding tank from which the mixture goes through the sheet-forming machine. The smooth sheets are then cooked, making the sheet stable. The sheets then undergo a slitting process which gives the texture and appearance of crab, then steamed to form the final product. It is then vacuum packaged in thermoformed trays and placed into either polyethylene, nylon or polyester plastic bags. Finally, it is pasteurized with steam.

Uses in cuisine[edit]

A California roll, a sushi roll, can be made with imitation crab meat, avocado, and cucumber rolled with sesame seeds on the outside. Russian, American, and European deli counters have salads prepared with imitation crab meat, eggs, vegetables and herbs chopped together and seasoned with mayonnaise.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Laura, Campo-Deano; Clara Tovar (October 2009). "The effect of egg albumen on the viscoelasticity of crab sticks made from Alaska Pollock and Pacific Whiting surimi". Food Hydrocolloids 23 (7): 1641–1646. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2009.03.013. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  2. ^ "What's in a Name: Crabless Crab Legs No Longer Imitation". Wall Street Journal. 13 Dec 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2010. (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Mystery science eater - Time Out New York". Newyork.timeout.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19. [dead link]

4. Imitation crab meat. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/Imitation-Crab-Meat.html#b

5. Seafood Health Facts: Making Smart Choices. Retrieved April 29, 2014 from http://seafoodhealthfacts.org/seafoodqa/23.php

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_stick — Please support Wikipedia.
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185 news items

Yes! Weekly
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 07:11:15 -0800

The Christmas Roll is filled with crab stick, spicy king crab meat, shrimp and the perfect serving of white rice, all wrapped in Japanese soy bean paper. Atop rests a sliced filet of tuna. Liu added colorful sprinkles to adorn the roll, which give just ...
Las Vegas Weekly
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:18:45 -0800

Crispy, creamy crab stick ($7.95) and spicy, sour, crunchy catfish salad ($13.95) are must-order starters, and it only gets better. I recommend you try at least one dish from the Issan menu, maybe the incendiary larb plar ($9.95) ground fish salad or ...
The Ithaca Voice
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:32:44 -0800

A lot of our menu items are things that my mom would make in our lunch boxes.” Among Kim's personal favorites are her Crabby Sliders, which combine elements from several different Asian cuisines. They feature a Japanese crab stick topped with Sriracha ...
Orlando Weekly
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:20:01 -0800

My only complaint was the "crab stick" ($3.25) which, like the crab-dumpling appetizer ($4.50) was not real crab, but surimi – you know, that formed whitefish stuff. A better choice is the slightly pickled mackerel with its bracing vinegar bite (saba ...

Yahoo Finance UK

Yahoo Finance UK
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:20:59 -0800

The higher-priced menu offers Ebi Shiromi Sumashi soup, Crab Stick salad, mixed tempura, a choice of salmon, jumbo shrimp or sea bass filet and Tempura ice cream for dessert. A sushi bar set menu, for LE 311, combines 11 pieces of sushi with a heartier ...
WQAD.com -- Quad Cities News & Weather from WQAD
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:15:43 -0700

Add shredded crab stick 6. Fold in and add some Chef's butter (a 50/50 mixture of butter and margarine) to bind together 7. Take 1 cup of stuffing mixture and spread on the uncut slice of flounder 8. Place sliced flounder on top 9. Add 1 cup bread ...


Sun, 27 Apr 2014 23:25:31 -0700

Crab stick pertama kali diperkenalkan pada tahun 1970-an dan ditemukan di Jepang dengan nama "surimi". Awalnya crab stick dibuat dari ikan Alaska Pollock yang dicampur dengan putih telur atau bahan lain sebagai pengikat, dengan campuran garam ...

Cleveland Scene Weekly

Cleveland Scene Weekly
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 07:33:45 -0800

The Calamari Roll is filled with fried squid and avocado, the Black Dragon is a California Roll (crab stick, avocado and cuke) topped with eel, fish roe and crunchy tempura bits, the Real Crab Roll boasts, you guessed it, real blue crab, avocado and ...

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