Friday, April 20, 2018

Kamaboko: Taking Fake Crab to Another Level

I just read an article about surimi and how the guy who established it in the US (trying to make a “hot dog of the sea” apparently) is trying to make its production better. Read it here.

I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about surimi since I was an observer in a plant that produced it. (Which was almost 10 years ago.) But I was wrong!

I knew that surimi is made from ground up pollock and other fishes. It’s often died to look like crab legs and used in California rolls for people who want sushi but don’t want raw fish but somehow logs of pulverized steamed fish are OK.

^Not real crab, y'all

What I didn’t know is that it has another name: kamaboko. And it is had been around for centuries! It was eaten by samurai and nobility – there’s even a Kamaboko Museum dedicated to “Artisinal Samurai Seafood”.

What’s more fun is that it is colorful and, dare I say it, CUTE! Just check these out:

I was sort of already familiar with these spirally numbers 

But look at these ramen bowl additions! 

 And ^this^ little Rilakkuma-themed meal from...
 ... ^these^ loaves of steamed fish paste!

 So. Many. Designs!

You can take classes on how to make these awesome treats at the Kamaboko Museum, too!

You guys, I kind of fell down the kamaboko rabbit hole with this. There are videos you can watch on how to shape your rolls into flowers and bunnies. I broke my blog-writing hiatus simply because I needed to share this fish art with you all! And while the surimi dude that sent me on this Pinterest-image-searching bonanza works on reducing food waste during production, I'd lobby hard for also increasing cuteness in design.

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