By: Bears Butt

MMMMMM.  For lunch today we had some of a plate of really good crab meat and home made dipping sauce…my friend Stein’s parents (also my friends) made the sauce and put the plate together as a gift for Christmas….Very YUMMY!  That home made cocktail sauce made with home grown horse radish’s really hits the spot.   I doesn’t get any better than that.

As we were eating, my mind got to wondering about artificial crab and how it’s made.  Of course my good friend the internet was going to get involved later on in the day.  Lucky for me the snow kept falling and I didn’t have to get out and shovel or plow snow.  Sorry neighbors…you will have to wait until tomorrow to get shoveled out.

Back at the internet I looked up the key words “artificial crab”…man there is a lot on there about that.  I was very surprised to find just how it is made and what it is made out of.  Someone many years ago told me it was made from real fish and I believed him and sure enough it is…for the most part.

For you Gluten Free people…you better stop eating it right now and find a source with gluten free ingredients because the main manufacturers of it don’t care about your well being.  It’s just fish…you say?  Well that is part of what you are eating.  The rest is not fish.

So what is in the crab like stuff that flakes apart and tastes so very good?

Sugar, sorbitol, wheat or tapioca starch, egg whites, and vegetable or soybean oil . Natural and artificial crab flavorings are added, and some of these flavorings are made from real crab or from boiled shells. Carmine, caramel, paprika, and annatto extract are often used to make the crab’s red, orange, or pink coloring.

BOILED SHELLS????  Ok if you say so.

I went in search of some more information about the making of the artificial crab that I really like to eat.  I found where a guy had put together 9 facts you need to know about this, but before you read too much further the artificial crab meat is made from an ancient process called “Surimi” in Japan:

1. Surimi is a Japanese word that literally means “ground meat”.

2. To make surimi, the lean meat from white fleshed fish such as pollock is pulverized into a thick paste. The gelatinous paste can then be combined with various additives to become fake crab, fake lobster, and whatnot.

3. The assortment of additives may include other fish products, but it is usually egg whites, oils, salt, starches, and spices.

4. Here is the ingredient list for a fake crab product called Trans Ocean Crab Classic:

Alaska Pollock, Water, Egg Whites, Wheat Starch, Sugar, Corn Starch, Sorbitol, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: King Crab Meat, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Extracts of Crab, Oyster, Scallop, Lobster and Fish (Salmon, Anchovy, Bonito, Cutlassfish), Refined Fish Oil (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat) (Anchovy, Sardine), Rice Wine (Rice, Water, Koji, Yeast, Salt), Sea Salt, Modified Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan, Yam Flour, Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn, and Wheat Proteins, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Carmine, Paprika.

You can see that it is a highly processed food product, with MSG and an assortment of starches and gums to create the expected texture.

5. Food manufacturers love Surimi because it enables them to take cheap fish and upgrade it to a taste and mouth feel of the most expensive fish meats – crab and lobster.  (I wonder if you could make it from carp?…just askin)

6. Approximately 2% of the world’s fish catch is processed into some sort of surimi paste.

7. Nutritionally, surimi is low in fat, but usually very high in sodium. In the product example above, a serving of 2 fake legs contains 480mg of sodium (20% of the daily max)

8. Surimi does have some protein due to the fish and egg content. But nothing to write home about. The above product has 6 grams of protein for a 3 ounce serving. Tuna has 30 grams.  Lentils have 20. Cheese has 30 grams.

9. Surimi is cheap – you’ll pay 20-30 cents per ounce. Canned salmon or tuna are usually 50-60 cents per ounce. Real crab and lobster are much more expensive.

Well if it didn’t taste so dang good I would probably quit eating it right now, but it is good and a very good thing I didn’t know what I know today or I would probably not have tried it in the first place.

Now, you have to see the video I found on the process.  I really wondered how they got the red involved in the meat and make it look just like a real crab leg meal laying there on my plate.  The originator of it must have really had a smug look on his face as he watched plate full after plate full being devoured by crab eating connoisseurs.

You will like this!

Bears Butt

December 27, 2012



Written on December 26th, 2012 , Uncategorized

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.