Crab meat or Crabmeat is the meat found within a
crab. It is used in many cuisines across the world, prized for
its soft, delicate taste. Blue Crabs (Callinectus sapidus), Blue
Swimming Crabs (Portunus pelagicus), Red Swimming Crabs (Portunus
haanii) are among the most commercially available species of
The meat of crabs comes in different grades,
depending on which part of the crab's body it comes from and the
overall size of the crab the meat is taken from.
Colossal crab meat, also called Mega Jumbo
Lump, is the largest whole unbroken pieces available from the blue
crab and blue swimming crab.The colossal meat is taken from the two
largest muscles connected to the back swimming fins of the crab. The
lumps, or pieces, in the Colossal grade are bigger than those in the
The jumbo lump grade crab meat comes from
larger crabs, is the meat from the two large muscles connected to
the swimming fins. Contrary to smaller portions of crab meat, it can
be used whole. It has a brilliant white color and exquisite taste.
The Lump grade of crab meat is composed of
broken pieces of Jumbo Lump, which are not included in the Jumbo
Lump grade pack, and other flake pieces. This grade of crab meat is
ideal for crab cakes and it is commonly used by manufacturers.
The special meat is shreds and small flakes of
white meat from the body cavity of the crab. It is generally used
for all dishes in which white crab meat is used.
The back fin portion consists of flakes of
white meat, coming both from the special meat and the jumbo lump.
Claw meat is the dark pink meat that comes from
the swimming fins and claws of the crab. It has a stronger taste,
and is less expensive than the white color meat grades. It is often
used in soups, where the strong taste comes through.
The Claw Fingers, also called Cocktail Fingers,
are the tips of the pinchers, usually served whole, with the dark
pink meat still in it. They are commonly used as garnish or hors
Imitation crab meat is widely used in America
as a replacement for 100% crab meat in many dishes - popularly used
in American sushi (eg califonia roll). Imitation crab meat contains
a small percentage of crab meat.
The flaky, red-edged faux crab in your
seafood salad or California roll is most likely made of Alaska
Pollock. Also called Walleye Pollock, Snow Cod, or Whiting, this
fish is abundant in the Bering Sea near Alaska and can also be found
along the central California coast and in the Sea of Japan. Pollock
has a very mild flavor, making it ideal for the processing and
artificial flavoring of imitation crab. While Pollock is the most
common fish used to make fake crab, New Zealand Hoki is also used,
and some Asian manufacturers use Southeast Asian fish like Golden
Treadfin Bream and White Croaker.
The processing of imitation crabmeat begins
with the skinning and boning of the fish. Then the meat is minced
and rinsed, and the water is leached out. This creates a thick paste
called surimi. The word means "minced fish" in Japanese, and the
essential techniques for making it were developed in Japan over 800
years ago. Surimi is commonly used in Japan to make a type of fish
ball or cake called kamaboko. In 1975, a method for processing
imitation crabmeat from surimi was invented in Japan, and in 1983,
American companies started production.
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