How To Use Kani Beyond Baked Sushi

Here's how to use crab sticks in other recipes.

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Kani, also known as imitation crab sticks, is a kind of surimi. Surimi is an edible paste usually made of fish that is formed, cooked, and made to look like other food such as crab, lobster, and other seafood.

One of the most common ways of using kani lately has been to make kani baked sushi. This is the more affordable option versus the original fresh salmon. It's most popular in sushi where crab sticks are the common ingredients of sushi, California maki, and baked sushi. 

However, how else can you use kani if you have a stock of it in your freezer and are tired of baked sushi? Here are ideas on how to use these ready-to-eat crab sticks beyond your baked sushi:

Photo by Aldwin Aspillera

1 Tear it apart and toss in salads. 

A great and easy way to use up crab sticks is to use these in salad recipes. Since surimi, in general, is already cooked and technically ready-to-eat, it makes a great addition to cold salads. All you have to do is to tear apart the strands that make up the crab stick and add. You can chop it up, too, and toss to evenly distribute it as you spear the lettuce leaves and enjoy. 

Photo by Majoy Siason
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2 Chop it up and mix with mayo to make a sandwich spread.  

Crab sticks and mayonnaise are a delicious pairing, especially if you use Japanese mayonnaise. The creaminess of the mayo is the starting point of the flavor of the sandwich filling so adding an equally flavorful ingredient to the mayo is a must! Just swap the tuna and ham ingredients in these recipes for a delicious snack. 

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3 Roll in lettuce ala fresh spring roll. 

The Vietnamese spring roll is a tasty and refreshing appetizer. Make it easy and no-cook by using crab sticks instead of shrimps. Plus, it's more affordable than shrimp! 

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Photo by Dairy Darilag

4 Finely chop and make into a dip. 

Crab is normally served when there's a special occasion or celebration. Seafood, in general, is expensive. So, when it comes to deciding on what to serve as an appetizer, crab is a great and delicious choice! Make it easy on yourself by using crab sticks instead of hard-to-find fresh crab meat. 


Photo by Mira Angeles

5 Add to soup and chowder. 

Soups and chowders are natural dishes to serve when you want sabaw or something hearty yet light. You can make a simple and fast soup using crab sticks, chopped up, so it's easy to stir into your favorite soup recipe. Add corn, carrots, or cheese and cream to make it super chunky and delicious.


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6 Eat is as is with a delicious dip. 

The easiest way to enjoy crab sticks is to serve it, as is, thawed and cold or even slightly steamed so it's warm instead of cold. Cut into bite-sized pieces and serve with a dip for an instant snack that's easy to make as well as fast to assemble. 



Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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