Crab sticks, lobster tails, artificial caviar... everything is made with a paste rich in protein that is obtained from various kinds of fish and allows the manufacture of these marine delicacies.
Surimi is a Japanese word that means "minced fish muscle." It is not a food itself, but serves as a raw material for the manufacture of imitation seafood, cured meats or sausages.
This paste is obtained from low-cost fish for its taste, texture, size, or high in fat that are not used for direct consumption. With skin, bones, fat and enzymes, you get a gel composed primarily of miofibrilar protein (myosin).
Traditional in Japan, it was introduced in the Western world in the eighties. The species most often used to produce it are Corbin, lizard fish, sword fish, the brunette, the mackerel, shark and some types of flounders. Today hake, sardines and hoki are also used.
During the manufacturing of surimi, other products are made such as fishmeal, oil, eggs and soluble proteins, most expensive and prized. Surimi is the highest quality "grade" product and is produced in factory boats with fish freshly caught.
Due to its high content of protein and carbohydrate and low fat, surimi product is interesting from a nutritional point of view. It may have added colorings, flavorings and preservatives depending on the variety, so we should try to buy the least contain additives.
Surimi is mixed with meat, spices, dairy products, animal and vegetable fats... and the price varies depending on the ingredients required by the imitation of the original food. One of the most expensive is a substitute for Beluga caviar from using surimi made from Cantábria blue fish.