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May 11, 2011 01:46 PM

What to do with imitation crab meat

So my Mom went on a shopping spree and bought about 1kg of imitation crab meat, and I have NO idea what to make with it. I've never used the stuff in my life. Any suggestions?

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  1. I've used it like canned tuna and made a krab salad with it using mayo and any other sesonings

    1. I love this Paul Prudhomme recipe for seafood gumbo with andouille sausage and more often than not substitute the imitation for real crab. It's not just that lump crab meat is so expensive, but in a stew this rich and this spicy, the crab is more of a texture than a flavor element.

      I would use it in any similar situation where you're not highlighting the flavor and delicacy of the crab meat but using it more as a filler element.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        I disagree with this, for me crabmeat is a major flavoring component of a good seafood gumbo! Claw meat is a fantastic substitute for lump crabmeat in stews and stuff, but imitation crabmeat gives soups and stews a very "off" flavor for me. I may be overly picky since I was born and raised in New Orleans, but I find imitation crabmeat does a poor job of flavoring soups and stews. It does well enough when used in salads etc though.

        1. re: twyst

          Interesting. I hate it in salads for exactly the reason you dislike it in a gumbo--in a salad, the crab should be a major flavor component whereas in a gumbo--especially one with shrimp, oysters, and andouille sausage--I've been unable to tell the difference between the dish made with the real thing and the same recipe made with the fake stuff.

      2. Feature it in a seafood lasagna along with mushrooms, some other vegetables, and some sauces.
        Or enchiladas

          1. Imitation crab or "surimi", is a frequent ingredient in Asian cuisine these days & there's absolutely NOTHING WRONG with using it & enjoying it (unless you're a food snob, of course). I don't expect it to replace real crab meat in recipes, but use it for itself. Keep that in mind & you'll find myriad uses for it. Here's one of the favorites that I've developed:

            BREEZY JADE & CORAL
            (Adapted from Wokcraft, by Charles & Violet Schafer)

            Approx. 1 pound of broccoli florets
            1 package of surimi (aka "imitation crab meat"), in bite-size pieces
            Approx. 1” piece of fresh ginger, peeled & minced or grated
            2-3 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
            1 teaspoon sugar
            3 tablespoons dry sherry
            4 tablespoons soy sauce
            A few dollops of vegetable oil for stirfrying

            Bring a pot of water to a boil & blanch broccoli florets for 2 minutes & drain. Combine sugar, sherry, soy sauce, & minced garlic – stir until sugar is dissolved. Heat a dollop or so of oil in a wok or large skillet & add ginger for about 30 seconds, then follow with broccoli florets, surimi, & sauce mixture. Stirfry until heated through & serve.