kanikama sushi

by easy quick meal

kanikama sushi roll

Kanikama sushi rolls, also known as imitation crab sushi rolls, are a type of sushi roll commonly found in many Japanese and sushi restaurants. The term “kanikama” is a Japanese word that translates to “crab stick” or “crab imitation,” and it refers to imitation crab meat made from a blend of fish, usually white fish like pollock, and various flavorings to mimic the taste and texture of real crab meat.

Kanikama sushi rolls typically consist of the imitation crab meat along with other ingredients like rice, seaweed (nori), vegetables, and sometimes avocado, cucumber, or other fillings. They are often rolled in a bamboo sushi rolling mat to create a cylindrical shape and then sliced into bite-sized pieces. These rolls are popular for their mild and slightly sweet flavor, making them a favorite choice for sushi enthusiasts, especially those who prefer not to consume real crab meat or have allergies to shellfish.

Kanikama sushi rolls are often served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger for added flavor and are a common item on sushi menus worldwide. They are known for their accessibility and are a good option for those who are new to sushi and want to explore different flavors and textures.

how to make kanikama


Making kanikama, or imitation crab sticks, at home is possible, but it can be quite challenging to replicate the exact texture and flavor of commercial products since they often involve specialized equipment and ingredients. However, if you’re up for the challenge, you can try making a simplified version using readily available ingredients. Here’s a basic recipe:


1 cup white fish fillets (e.g., pollock, cod, or any mild white fish) 1/4 cup cold water 1/4 cup potato starch or cornstarch 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon crab or seafood seasoning (optional, for flavor) A few drops of red or orange food coloring (optional, for color)


  1. Clean and prepare the fish fillets by removing any skin, bones, and dark meat. You want to use only the white, mild-tasting part of the fish.
  2. Cut the fish fillets into small pieces to make them easier to blend.
  3. In a food processor, combine the fish pieces, cold water, sugar, salt, and crab or seafood seasoning (if using). Blend until you have a smooth, thick paste.
  4. Add the potato starch or cornstarch to the mixture and blend again until everything is well combined. The starch helps bind the mixture and gives it the desired texture.
  5. If you want to achieve the characteristic color of kanikama, add a few drops of red or orange food coloring to the mixture and blend until evenly colored.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof dish or mold that resembles the shape of crab sticks. You can use silicone molds or shape the mixture into logs using plastic wrap.
  7. Steam the mixture for about 30-40 minutes until it sets and becomes firm. Alternatively, you can bake it in a water bath at a low temperature (around 250°F or 120°C) for a longer period until set.
  8. Allow the kanikama to cool completely before removing it from the mold.
  9. Once cooled, slice the kanikama into thin sticks or use it as desired in sushi rolls or other recipes.

Please note that this homemade version will not replicate the exact flavor and texture of commercial kanikama, which is manufactured using specialized equipment and ingredients. However, it can still be a fun and flavorful alternative for homemade sushi rolls and salads. Adjust the seasonings and coloring to your preference.

Does kanikama taste like crab?

Kanikama, or imitation crab meat, is designed to mimic the flavor and texture of real crab meat, but it doesn’t taste exactly like crab. While it has a somewhat similar sweetness and seafood-like taste, it lacks the depth and complexity of flavor that you would find in genuine crab meat.

The primary ingredients in kanikama are usually white fish (such as pollock or cod) and various flavorings, including sugar, salt, and crab or seafood seasoning. These ingredients are used to create a taste that resembles crab meat, but it is generally milder and less briny than real crab.

So, while kanikama can provide a seafood-like experience, it doesn’t have the distinctive taste of crab. It’s a popular choice for people who enjoy the essence of seafood but may not prefer the stronger and sometimes acquired taste of real crab.

what is imitation crab made of

The process of making imitation crab involves several steps:

  1. Fish Filleting: The fish are first filleted to remove bones and skin.
  2. Minced Fish: The filleted fish is minced into a fine paste or puree.
  3. Washing: The minced fish is washed to remove unwanted flavors, odor, and impurities.
  4. Surimi Formation: The washed fish paste is then formed into a gel-like substance called surimi. Surimi acts as the base for imitation crab and other surimi-based products.
  5. Flavoring and Seasoning: Flavorings, seasonings, and additives are mixed into the surimi to mimic the taste and texture of real crab meat. These can include sugar, salt, starch, egg whites, and crab flavorings.
  6. Coloring: Often, red or pink food coloring is added to the mixture to give the imitation crab a more crab-like appearance.
  7. Shaping: The seasoned surimi is molded into shapes resembling crab legs or chunks.
  8. Cooking: The shaped surimi is typically steamed, boiled, or heat-processed to solidify and set its texture.
  9. Packaging: Once cooked and cooled, the imitation crab is packaged and can be sold in various forms, such as sticks, chunks, or flakes.

It’s important to note that imitation crab is primarily a processed seafood product designed to imitate the taste and texture of real crab meat. While it may contain some fish protein, it is not pure crab meat and is often used as a more affordable and accessible alternative in various dishes like sushi, salads, and seafood soups.

kanikama nutrition facts


The nutritional content of kanikama, or imitation crab meat, can vary slightly depending on the brand and preparation method. However, here are approximate nutrition facts for a typical 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of kanikama:

  • Calories: 85-100 calories
  • Protein: 13-15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4-6 grams
  • Fat: 0-2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 5-15 milligrams
  • Sodium: 300-600 milligrams

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the brand, additives, and processing methods used. Kanikama is relatively low in fat and calories and is a good source of protein. However, it can be relatively high in sodium, so individuals who need to monitor their sodium intake should be cautious when consuming it. Additionally, the specific nutritional content may be provided on the packaging of the product you purchase, so it’s a good idea to check the label for precise information.

ways to use imitation crab sticks

here are some ways to use imitation crab sticks, also known as Kanikama, in various dishes:

  1. Kanikama Salad: Create a delicious salad by chopping Kanikama into bite-sized pieces and mixing it with fresh vegetables, greens, and your favorite salad dressing.
  2. Sushi Rolls: Incorporate Kanikama into homemade sushi rolls for a delightful seafood flavor. Combine it with avocado, cucumber, and rice, and wrap it in seaweed sheets.
  3. Kanikama Dip: Make a creamy Kanikama dip by blending it with cream cheese, mayonnaise, and seasonings. Serve it with crackers or fresh vegetables for a tasty appetizer.
  4. Kanikama Stir-Fry: Add Kanikama to your stir-fry for a quick and easy seafood twist. Pair it with colorful vegetables and your choice of sauce for a satisfying meal.
  5. Kanikama Sandwich: Layer Kanikama slices in your favorite sandwich or wrap. Combine it with lettuce, tomato, and your preferred condiments for a tasty, seafood-inspired lunch.
  6. Kanikama Sushi Bowls: Create sushi bowls by placing a bed of sushi rice in a bowl and topping it with Kanikama, sliced vegetables, sesame seeds, and soy sauce.
  7. Kanikama Noodles: Incorporate Kanikama into your favorite noodle dishes, such as stir-fried noodles or cold noodle salads, for added texture and flavor.
  8. Kanikama Spring Rolls: Roll Kanikama with fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, and lettuce in rice paper wrappers to make delectable spring rolls. Serve with dipping sauce.
  9. Kanikama Tacos: Use Kanikama as a seafood filling for tacos. Combine it with shredded cabbage, salsa, and a drizzle of lime crema for a unique taco experience.
  10. Kanikama Soup: Enhance your soup recipes by adding sliced or shredded Kanikama. It goes well in both hot and cold soups, such as miso or gazpacho.

These versatile imitation crab sticks can be used in various culinary creations to add a touch of seafood flavor and texture to your dishes. Enjoy experimenting with these ideas!

is kanikama crab good for weight loss


Kanikama, also known as imitation crab sticks or surimi, is generally considered a low-calorie and low-fat seafood substitute. While it can be a part of a balanced diet for weight loss, it’s essential to consider a few factors:

  1. Calorie Content: Kanikama is relatively low in calories compared to real crab meat or other protein sources. It can be a good option for those looking to reduce calorie intake while still enjoying a seafood flavor.
  2. Protein: Kanikama contains protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass and feeling full. Including protein in your diet can help with weight loss by promoting satiety.
  3. Low in Fat: Imitation crab sticks are typically low in fat, which can be beneficial for weight loss, as long as they are not paired with high-fat sauces or dressings that can add extra calories.

However, it’s important to be mindful of a few considerations:

  1. Processed Nature: Kanikama is highly processed and may contain additives and preservatives. While it’s not inherently unhealthy, it’s a good idea to consume it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
  2. Sodium Content: Some imitation crab products can be high in sodium, which can lead to water retention and may not be suitable for individuals with high blood pressure. Check the nutrition label for sodium content.
  3. Other Ingredients: Be aware of the ingredients in the specific brand of Kanikama you choose. Some brands may use different fillers or additives that could affect the overall nutritional profile.
  4. Balanced Diet: Weight loss is not just about one specific food but rather about maintaining a balanced diet and controlling overall calorie intake. Incorporating a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, is essential for long-term weight management.

In conclusion, Kanikama can be a part of a weight loss plan when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It’s important to pay attention to its sodium content and be mindful of how you prepare and pair it with other ingredients in your meals.

Is Kanikama real crab meat?

is not real crab meat. Kanikama is made from various types of white fish, most commonly pollock, along with additives and flavorings to mimic the taste and texture of real crab meat. It is designed to resemble crab meat but is not derived from actual crabs. Kanikama is a more affordable alternative to real crab meat and is popular in sushi rolls, seafood salads, and other dishes where the texture and flavor of crab are desired without the cost of using genuine crab meat.

How should I store Kanikama?

You should store kanikama, or imitation crab meat, properly to ensure its freshness and safety. Here are some guidelines for storing kanikama:

  1. Refrigeration: After opening the package or using part of it, tightly wrap the remaining kanikama in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent exposure to air. Then place it in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Make sure it’s sealed well to prevent moisture loss and odors from the refrigerator from affecting its flavor. Store it in the refrigerator at temperatures below 40°F (4°C).
  2. Use-By Date: Pay attention to the “use-by” or “best-before” date on the packaging. Consume the kanikama before this date for the best quality.
  3. Avoid Freezing: While it’s technically possible to freeze kanikama, it’s not recommended as the texture may change when thawed. It’s best to use it within a few days to maintain its original texture and taste.
  4. Keep Away from Strong Odors: Kanikama can absorb odors from other strong-smelling foods in the refrigerator, so store it away from foods with strong aromas like garlic or onions.
  5. Check for Signs of Spoilage: Before using kanikama, inspect it for any signs of spoilage, such as an off-putting odor, unusual color, or sliminess. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard it.

By following these storage guidelines, you can extend the shelf life of your kanikama and enjoy it in your favorite recipes while it’s still fresh and safe to eat.

Is Kanikama suitable for people with seafood allergies?


imitation crab meat, is generally not suitable for people with seafood allergies. While kanikama is made from white fish (such as pollock or cod) rather than shellfish, it is still considered a seafood product.

Individuals with seafood allergies can be allergic to various types of seafood, including both fish and shellfish. Therefore, even though kanikama is made from fish, it may still pose a risk for individuals with seafood allergies because of cross-contamination or the potential for allergic reactions to specific fish used in its production.

If you or someone you know has a seafood allergy, it is essential to exercise caution when consuming products like kanikama. Always check the ingredient labels on food products to determine if they contain seafood or fish ingredients. Additionally, consider consulting with a healthcare professional or allergist for personalized advice and allergy testing to identify specific allergens to avoid.

the difference between kanikama and kani?

Kanikama and kani are two terms often used interchangeably, but they refer to slightly different things in the context of Japanese cuisine:

  1. Kanikama (also known as imitation crab sticks or crab sticks): Kanikama is a processed seafood product made from a mixture of various ingredients, primarily fish (often pollock) and starch. It is designed to imitate the flavor and texture of crab meat. Kanikama is usually shaped into sticks or logs and is commonly used as a filling in sushi rolls, salads, and other dishes. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a flaky texture. It’s important to note that kanikama does not contain any real crab meat but is intended to mimic its taste and appearance.
  2. Kani: Kani, on the other hand, refers to real crab meat. It can be obtained from various species of crabs, and the flavor and texture can vary depending on the type of crab and how it’s prepared. Kani is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world and is often used in high-end sushi dishes, crab salads, and crab cakes. Real crab meat has a distinct and more complex flavor compared to kanikama, and it is highly prized for its natural taste.

In summary, the main difference between kanikama and kani is that kanikama is an imitation crab product made from processed fish, while kani refers to genuine crab meat obtained from real crabs. The choice between the two depends on personal preferences and the culinary context in which they are used.

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kanikama sushi ( imitation crab)

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 43 calories 1g fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 8-10 imitation crab sticks (Kanikama)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, thinly sliced or grated
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mango, diced (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)


1. Prepare Ingredients

  • Gather the following ingredients for your Kanikama Salad:
    • Kanikama sticks
    • Fresh vegetables of your choice (e.g., cucumber, avocado, lettuce)

2. Cut Kanikama

  • Slice the Kanikama sticks into bite-sized pieces.

3. Prepare Vegetables

  • Chop the fresh vegetables you've chosen into suitable sizes, such as cucumber, avocado, and lettuce.

4. Make Dressing

  • In a small bowl, whisk together:
    • Mayonnaise
    • Soy sauce
    • A pinch of sugar
  • This creates the dressing for your salad.

5. Combine Ingredients

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced Kanikama and the chopped vegetables.

6. Add Dressing

  • Pour the prepared dressing over the Kanikama and vegetables.
  • Gently toss everything to ensure an even coating.

7. Chill and Serve

  • Refrigerate the Kanikama Salad for about 30 minutes to chill before serving.
  • Enjoy your delicious Kanikama Salad!
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