What is Surimi?
Maybe you’ve never heard the term surimi, but chances are you’ve eaten it at your favorite sushi restaurant or at your local poke shop. Commonly found in popular dishes like California rolls and crab salad, surimi is fish that is flavored, shaped, and sometimes colored to resemble shellfish like crab or lobster.
Often referred to as “imitation” seafood, surimi is actually made with real seafood – usually delicious wild Alaska pollock. It enjoys both a long history and global favor. Surimi is a great source of protein, low-calorie, and versatile that can be easily added to all your favorite recipes.
The history of surimi
Surimi was created by Japanese chefs in the 12th century who would grind and salt leftover fish as a means of preserving their extra catch. In the 1960s, a Japanese chemist discovered that by adding sugar to the traditional surimi-making process, he could stabilize the product, freeze it, and preserve its shelf life. His discovery launched what is today a $1 billion global industry. A popular part of cuisine in Japan, South Korea, France, Thailand, and Spain, surimi can be flavored and molded to resemble a variety of seafood—including lobster, scallops, crab, and more.
Surimi seafood can be made from many different fish species. The highest quality surimi seafood is made with genuine wild Alaska Pollock and flavored with crab, shrimp, scallops, or lobster. It is formed, cooked, and cut in a variety of portions and styles — whole legs, mini-cuts chunk meat, shreds. It’s also pre-cooked and ready-to-use which is convenient to use in any recipe calling for the flavor of shellfish.
As we need to make sure our fisheries are managed for future generations, wild Alaska remains the most abundant. Wild Alaska Pollock remains the most abundant and sustainable species on the planet. There is a two-step process — fresh wild Alaska pollock is finely minced, and then blended with other ingredients such as starch, salt, natural crab meat, and egg white. From there, surimi is formed, cooked, and cut into surimi products. All U.S.-caught wild Alaska Pollock is sustainably managed, and responsibly harvested under strict government regulations
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