Crab stick

Crab sticks, krab sticks, imitation crab meat or seafood sticks are a type of seafood made of starch and finely pulverized white fish (surimi) that has been shaped and cured to resemble the leg meat of snow crab or Japanese spider crab.[1] It is a product that uses fish meat to imitate shellfish meat.

Crab stick
Crab sticks – imitation crab meat surimi.
Alternative namesimitation crab meat, seafood sticks, krab
Place of originJapan
Main ingredientswhite fish
Sugiyo "Kaori-bako"


Sugiyo Co., Ltd. (スギヨ, Sugiyo) of Japan first produced and patented imitation crab meat in 1974, as Kanikama. This was a flake type. In 1975, Osaki Suisan Co., Ltd., of Japan first produced and patented imitation crab sticks.

In 1977, The Berelson Company of San Francisco, California, US, working with Sugiyo, introduced them internationally. Kanikama is still their common name in Japan, but internationally they are marketed under names including Krab Sticks, Ocean Sticks, Sea Legs and Imitation Crab Sticks. Legal restrictions now prevent them from being marketed as "Crab Sticks" in many places, as they usually do not have crab meat.[2]

Most crab sticks today are made from Alaska pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) of the North Pacific Ocean.[3] This main ingredient is often mixed with fillers such as wheat, and egg white (albumen)[1] or other binding ingredient, such as the enzyme transglutaminase.[4] Crab flavoring is added (natural or more commonly, artificial) and a layer of red food coloring is applied to the outside.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Laura, Campo-Deano; Clara Tovar (October 2009). "The effect of egg albumen on the viscoelasticity of crab sticks made from Alaska Pollock and Pacific Whiting surimi". Food Hydrocolloids. 23 (7): 1641–1646. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2009.03.013.
  2. ^ "What's in a Name: Crabless Crab Legs No Longer Imitation". Wall Street Journal. December 13, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2010.(subscription required)
  3. ^ Mansfield, Becky (April 2003). "'Imitation crab' and the material culture of commodity production". Cultural Geographies. 10 (2): 176–195. doi:10.1191/1474474003eu261oa. ISSN 1474-4740.
  4. ^ Gritzer, Daniel (July 22, 2008). "Mystery science eater – Time Out New York".

Further readingEdit