Best and Exciting: How to cook Imitation Crab Meat?

Crab meats or sometimes called crab sticks are most commonly used in a sushi roll. It can be also added to a wide range of dishes because of its crab-like texture and taste such as crab soups and other soup combination and additionally, it costs way less than the real thing. How to cook imitation crab is one of the secret formulae of processed seafood usually made from finely grinding or pounded white fish meat or ‘surimi’ in Japanese.

Ready all your kitchen tools because in this article, will share you some of the easiest and exciting ways on how to cook imitation crab meat.

What is Imitation Crab meat?

Before we go, let’s define what exactly is an Imitation Crab meat?

As mentioned earlier, crab sticks are made from the flesh or meat of a fish called surimi a common fish found in Japan. Surimi resembles the texture and the taste of real crab meat. It is commonly used in the variety of dishes such as chowder, salads, and of course sushi. The good thing about crab meats is you can purchase it from your local market at a very low price.

Some people may include seafood as an everyday dish and some of them may not like fish and may get allergies. In this modern time, seafood is easy to cook at homes like oysters, lobsters, prawns, squid, and of course, crabs.

Is it safe to consume even if it’s an ‘imitation’?

Is it safe to consume even if it’s an ‘imitation’?

Imitation crab meats offer not only delicious taste but also offers valuable and essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein which is great alternatives for other expensive meats such as beef, pork, and lambs. These foods are also consumed by the people who work on building muscles density and improving their strength.

Seafood like imitation crab can have both good and bad sides. Crab stick can be perfect if you’re on a diet mainly because it contains fewer calories and fats than the real crab meat and helps you to control your weight as well.

Did you know that each 3-ounces of imitation crab meat can contain 81-calories, 17 mg of cholesterol, and a little than 1g of fat? This food is an ideal choice for low-cholesterol diet. However, the bad side of imitation crab meat lies on the amount of salt being used to make this. As it gives you 715 mg of salt per 3 ounces of serving. High salt or sodium consumption may put your health at risk such hypertension, paralytic attack, and renal failure.

So it’s a smart way to opt and take advantage of the low calories imitation crab.

How to cook Imitation Crab meat?

Planning to cook seafood dishes? Or just simply want to experiment with crab sticks? Imitation crab meat is very easy to prepare, how? Let’s dive right in.

Method #1: Steaming

The best way to cook imitation crab meats it to steam. Steaming might be an ideal choice for healthy eaters.

Here’s what you’ll need


The number one thing that you’ll need is a steamer. The steamer is commonly used in different Chinese restaurants that serve dim sum. It is available at any local grocery store or any home appliance center as well. Using a steamer to cook your food will keep them moist and warmth of your food without unhealthy oils.

Pot and Strainer.

Pot and strainer are an alternative kitchen tool if you don’t have any streamer. You can make your own improvised streamer by simply putting some water in the pot and strainer over it. Make sure that the water level should not reach the strainer to avoid boiling. To keep the steam in the food strainer, tightly cover it with a lid.

Pot and Strainer.

It is advisable to only use about 1-2 cups of water when steaming some meals. However, big meals such as meat, king crab, or even lobsters, you need to add more water to your steamer. It is also a good idea to add plenty of water to the steamer beforehand instead of adding it every now and then to avoid cooling.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Prepare the steamer.

Prepare the steamer by simply adding the clean water that enough to cook your food. However, for a pack of imitation crab meat, you only need 1-2 cups of water. Now evenly place the imitation crab meat inside the streamer’s strainer to make sure that every piece will be cooked thoroughly.

  • Step 2: Steam the imitation crab meat.

After preparing the steamer, plug it up and wait for the food to be cooked. If the water is boiling, the steam should start to fill your steamer, this process would take about 10-minutes until the crab meat is cooked. However, you can cook the unfrozen imitation crab meats for only 6 minutes. In this way, it will prevent the food from over-steaming.

  • Step 3: Serve and Enjoy.

Once the food is done, you can drain the water from the steamer and the imitation crab is now ready to be served.

Method #2: Sautéing

If you don’t like the plain and boring imitation crab meat, sautéing is the best way to add more flavor and excitement to your food.

Here’s what you’ll need


Grab a frying pan in the kitchen, it is advisable to use a non-stick pan to avoid ruining the result of your imitation crab meat. Imitation crab meat is known to have soft textures and can be easily torn apart, so it should be cooked and handled carefully. Using non-stick frying pan can definitely do the job because it allows any food to slide freely in the pan.


You can purchase a butter at your local grocery store. A tablespoon of butter is a great way to cook the imitation crab meat. However, the amount of butter will depend on the meat you are cooking. For more flavor, I recommend using salted butter.


2 cloves of fresh garlic are great for sautéing the food. Mincing the garlic beforehand can cover the imitation crab meat. If you don’t like to add garlic in your food, you can lightly crush the garlic cloves to release its juices.

Here’s how to do it

  • Step 1: Prepare and Heat the Pan.

Each time you sauté a food, keep the pan in a light heat before adding any food. You can place your palm over the pan in order to check if the pan is hot enough to sauté the imitation crab meat.

  • Step 2: Add the butter.

If you feel the heat coming from the pan, you can now add the butter. Spread the butter on the surface of the pan using a spatula. You can also tilt the pan to make sure that the butter has melted and covered the pan’s surface. Make sure you don’t burn the butter to avoid ruining the overall flavor of the food you are sautéing.

  • Step 3: Add the Garlic gloves or juices.

Make sure that the butter is completely melted and covered the pan’s based before putting the crush or minced garlic in the pan. Stir the garlic pieces until it all turns to golden brown and avoid them from getting burned.

  • Step 4: Add the imitation crab meat to the pan.

After the garlic pieces turn into golden brown, you can now add the imitation crab meat into the pan. As I mentioned earlier, the texture of the imitation crab meat should be cooked and handled properly to avoid pulling it into pieces and bits. Continuously sauté the food for about 5 minutes.

  • Step 5: Serve and Enjoy.

Once the food is done, grab a lean plate and the imitation crab is now ready to be served.

Here’s a simple recipe that you should try in your kitchen:

Imitation Crab Macaroni and Cheese

One great way to add excitement to your plain old crab meat is to add macaroni and cheese to it, here’s what you’ll need.

  • Two ½ cups of dried macaroni
  • Two ½ cups of chess preferably shredded
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 can of shrimp soup cream
  • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup of salted butterElement
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • Salt, mustard, and pepper
  • 8 ounces finely chopped imitation crab meat

Important Tips

  • One great way to steam the food faster is by boiling the water beforehand before adding any food to the steamer. This will cook the food immediately.
  • Avoid over-steaming or over-cooking the imitation crab meat because it may ruin the texture of the food and overall result.
  • If you’re deep frying imitation crab meat, make sure that you deep fry them in batches and rather than all at once.
  • Putting the imitation crab meat in the freezer can make it last longer mainly because it is a processed seafood. You can also check the consistency of the food by smelling it and reading the expiration date in the package.


Is it pretty easy, right? After cooking maybe this is you:

You don’t need to become a master chef to prepare and cook the imitation crab meat, following the steps mentioned above will definitely guide you on the different ways to cook imitation crab meats for variations of dishes, salads, and soups. You can also do some experiments and make your own recipe using this mouth-watering food.

If you liked this article, share this with your friends and family and surprise them how easy to cook imitation crab meat. And oh, if you have your own recipe using this food, let us know by commenting below.

Happy cooking!


Hey there, I'm Nancy, founder and editor in chief here at TOMYCook, and I’m absolutely in love with food and health blogs. I'm on a mission to share my insider cooking, food and health tips with all of you...

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