How To Cook Imitation Crab Meat Like The Pros

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Good old imitation crab meat. Most people would turn their noses up at this ingredient and see it as nothing more than garnish, or something that you would find rolled up in california rolls if no real crab meat is available. 

But what most people don’t know is that imitation crab meat- also called as cr is a very versatile ingredient. Sure, it’s not (and won’t taste like) real seafood, but it can stand up on its own and become an integral part of a dish if cooked properly. 

If you want to learn how to cook imitation crab meat the right way, here are a few recipes to get you started:

Imitation Crab Meat Patties

*One pound imitation crab meat (however the amount is heavily dependent on the number of people you will be serving)

*One tablespoon of breadcrumbs

*One egg

*Half tablespoon of mustard

*Juice of one lemon

*Half tablespoon of mayonnaise

*Vegetable oil (for sauteeing)

1. Roughly chop all of the imitation crab meat into small pieces.

2. In a clean, medium-sized bowl, mix all of the ingredients together including the imitation crab meat. Divide the mixture into small portions and shape these into patties

3. Chill the patties in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

4. Heat up a large saute pan on the stove on medium heat. Add a little bit of oil to prevent the “crab” meat patties from sticking to it. 

5. Fry the patties on each side until they are light golden brown in color. 

6. Optionally, you can add any condiment of your choice for flavor. You can also saute vegetables like broccoli and onions in the same pan after you have fried the patties. 

7. Serve while hot.

“Crab meat” Salad

*One pound of imitation crab

*Half cup of mayonnaise

*Half cup of minced celery

*One shallot, minced

*Half teaspoon each of paprika and dill

*Quarter teaspoon of Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well until everything is well-coated with the mayonnaise. 

2. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. 

Serving suggestions: For a crab salad sandwich, put some of the salad in a toasted hoagie roll along with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. You can also serve the salad with pasta. Just make sure to double the seasonings, shallots, celery, and mayonnaise (basically, all of the ingredients save for the crab meat itself), to flavor the pasta more thoroughly.

Deep Fried Imitation Crab Meat Sticks

*One pound of imitation crab meat

*Half cup of flour

*Half cup of cornstarch

*Milk (amount is dependent on how you want the consistency of your batter to be)

*A pinch of baking soda

*Salt and pepper

*Frying oil (peanut, soybean, sunflower, canola, vegetable or whatever kind of frying oil you have at home)

1. If you have a deep fryer, pour your frying oil in it, and heat it up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have one, you can make do with a large, deep pot. Fill it no more than half full of oil- just make sure that the oil is enough to fully submerge the crabsticks when you fry them. 

2. Although you can fry the crabsticks as is, coating them with homemade batter will make them tastier. For the batter, just mix the other ingredients together (flour, cornstarch, milk, baking soda, salt and pepper) in a large bowl. You can add more milk and water if you find the batter mixture too dry. 

3. Coat the crabsticks with the batter and deep fry them for a couple of minutes or until the batter has turned a golden brown. 

4. Remove the crabsticks from the oil, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot

Some Things To Remember When Handling Imitation Crab Meat

*Imitation crab meat does have a reputation of spoiling easily. Once bought, store the package immediately in the freezer

*Even if the package has been frozen, check for any foul smells and molds on the crabsticks themselves before cooking. 

*Avoid overcooking crabsticks since this will eventually cause them to disintegrate and lose their shape. Make sure to keep watch while you’re cooking.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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