Surimi is made from skinless, boneless fish fillets which are finely chopped and mixed with other ingredients such as starch, salt, crab meat, and egg white. The mixture is then formed, cooked and cut into the various products that resemble crab meat, crab legs, scallops, or other seafood products.
Most Surimi processed in the USA is made from Alaskan Pollock, a fish with mild white flesh. Processed Surimi can last up to year if frozen; 60-90 days if refrigerated.
In the past, Surimi crab, lobster or scallop products that were available for sale in the USA had to be labeled as “imitation crabmeat” or similiar terms. Seafood processors were well aware that the product was limited by the reaction of many consumers by the harsh labeling verbage.
More recently, FDA regulations were modified to allow more appealing labeling descriptions such as “crab favored seafood, made with surimi, a fully cooked fish protein.”
The changes helped improve the public perception of Surimi and the item is being embraced by an ever larger group of American consumers.