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Surimi and Crab Rangoon [moved from Boston board]

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Tell me more of this sirimi! Does it involve animal parts at all? I know this is one of the least chowish questions ever, but could a vegetarian broaden her horizons and actually eat crab rangoon in good conscience (if not in good taste)?

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  1. It's usually called surimi - it's fake crab made of fish (I believe pollock.) Not good for vegetarians, I'm afraid.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Allstonian

      Pollock, btw, is a perfectly decent fish. I(And surimi is also made from hake, and talk to Spaniards how hake rocks their world.) Surimi is a product of longstanding, perfectly fine. Surely it's not the same as crab meat, but it's a perfectly decent product for the kinds of uses it was developed for.

    2. You'll also see the word surimi used to refer more generally to the process of taking animal flesh, grinding it up, making a slurry of it, and extruding it into a uniform solid. Crab stick and fish balls are probably the best-know Asian surimi products. If I'm not mistaken, a lot of turkey products (turkey ham, turkey bacon, etc.) are made this way, too.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Thanks you two, for the education and for letting me down easy. Oh, well, maybe I'll squirt some cream cheese on my Vegetarian Delight.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          "taking animal flesh, grinding it up, making a slurry of it, and extruding it into a uniform solid"

          MC, thanks for that. I'm just glad that I've already eaten today. Can anyone think of a positive way to use the word "slurry" to describe a food product?

          Has anyone ever seen Crab Rangoon in a Burmese restaurant? Apparently they were first introduced at the 1904 St Louis World's fair, although Trader Vic's stakes a claim too, in the 1950's.

          1. re: newhound

            Anyone who's had a Fenway Frank should be comfortable with, nay, enthusiastic about, the idea of extruded meat slurry. Or a bologna sandwich. Or a Slim Jim.

            I actually think turkey ham is a pretty good product, plus it's fun to say the name of my favorite version of such, known as "Mr. Turkey Ham Chub". It's kind of musical.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              If it makes you feel better, most crab rangoon is not actually made with crab or surimi.

            2. re: newhound

              does the word "emulsion" sound any better?

          2. I allways thought surimi was that little tray of flaked pollock with orange edges you find at the supermarket. They also use it in the seafood salad at the salad bar.
            I know it isn't crab, but it has a good flavor and is relatively inexpensive. I have used it in curry, newberg or just sprinkled with soy sauce. I think it is good unless you try to pretend that it is really crab meat.

            1. I've had some very good crab rangoons in my life. In fact, since this was moved from the Boston board.. have you tried the rangoons from Bejing Taste (Charlestown, I think- they deliver)? Some of my favorite... if, as a vegetarian, you eat fish then I see no harm in trying them. I actually like the nigiri sushi with the fake crab meat- don't ask why but I do.