When you love to eat something but can’t have the real thing, what can you do? Find a similar one or a substitute.
Imitation crab is just that.
It is a delicious replacement for crab meat when you can’t have the real and fresh one.
It is a paste of different types of minced fish called surimi.
Besides the fish, it also contains several ingredients.
The finished product gives the consistency and flavor of true crab meat.
If you are fond of seafood but cannot get it easily, Imitation crab can be an affordable choice.
You can run to the shop whenever you crave some crab meat or buy a large quantity and store the excess pieces.
But can you freeze Imitation crab? If you are wondering about it, then yes, it is possible to freeze it.
While it has some shelf life on its own, freezing can extend it up to some level.
Keep on reading to learn the art of freezing and thawing imitation crab.
Does Freezing Affect Imitation Crab?
Most Imitation crab packs come in frozen form unless you happen to be buying a fresh batch.
Hence, you can quickly store the package in the freezer once you take it home.
Freezing the first time doesn’t change its smell or flavor.
However, according to seasoned cooks, refreezing can harm the quality.
Thus, when you defrost any quantity, make sure to cook all of them and not waste any.
You can make a variety of dishes with imitation crab.
If you are fond of seafood, keeping some extra substitutes can be pretty handy.
Since you can freeze Imitation crab, it won’t matter even if you buy a different batch to avoid going to the shop again and again.
We now know that freezing the item doesn’t alter the taste, smell, and quality the first time.
But doing it the wrong way can and refreezing can also cause issues.
Whenever you plan to store some Imitation crab, it is crucial to follow the correct steps.
So, this is what we will learn below one by one.
You can collect some tips and keep those in mind.
Those will surely come in handy sometime.
How to Freeze Imitation Crab?
It is not challenging to freeze Imitation crab, but it is essential to do all the steps correctly.
Else, it can get spoiled while defrosting.
There is also a high chance of the newly bought pack thawing quickly if the weather is hot and humid.
What are the proper steps to freeze Imitation crab?
1. If you have bought a frozen pack, you can place it in the freezer unopened.
If you want to use the ingredient in a dish, remove as many as you need to cook before putting them in the freezer.
2. The item comes in the form of sticks most of the time.
So, it would also be a good idea to break them into small pieces and make separate packs for the freezer.
When you require the item for cooking, simply take out one of them without disturbing the others.
3. Seal the original pack after removing the required quantity.
4. You can also use a freezer-friendly bag to store the ingredient.
Take some plastic wrap or foil to cover the items before sealing them in the freezer-safe bag.
5. If your imitation crab is freshly packed, it might be soft.
So, you can follow the same steps and freeze as necessary.
6. The frozen version may get thawed before you can store the pack.
Since refreezing is not a good idea, make sure to do the freezing procedure as quickly as possible.
If you don’t have freezer-safe bags at home, air-tight containers will also do.
Just wrap them up first and seal them tightly.
It is essential so that its smell doesn’t spread to other food items or vice versa.
How long does frozen Imitation crab last in the freezer?
The loose form of Imitation crab found on trays lasts three to five days in the fridge.
When frozen, they have to be used within six months.
However, you must stay alert for stinks.
Since fish flesh is the main ingredient, it will smell just like spoiled fish.
How to Thaw Frozen Imitation Crab?
As with most other frozen items, defrosting Imitation crab is not such a complex task.
But it is necessary to thaw it correctly.
Else, if exposed to certain temperatures, the product can get spoiled.
If you eat those, then it could lead to food poisoning.
Besides, refreezing the food ingredient is not an option.
So, the thawing process is even more important than freezing the same.
As described earlier, freeze in several packs to not waste any food if you can’t finish the thawed quantity.
Imitation crab is a suitable choice in the absence of real crab meat for making salads, pasta dishes, sushi, and others.
It also offers some health benefits.
It contains several nutrients, including lots of minerals and vitamins.
The actual mixture doesn’t have much Omega-3 fatty acids, so manufacturers add them because Omega-3 is beneficial for health.
According to research, it contains a lower level of sodium than true crab meat.
For example, imitation crab meat has seven hundred and fifteen mg of sodium for three ounces while real crab meat has nine hundred and eleven mg of sodium for the same amount.
When it comes to defrosting, the best method would be to let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
If you need the item in a hurry, place it under cold tap water.
Remove only the quantity required for the dish, or else it will go to waste.
Refreezing can cause the product to get infested with harmful germs, and flavor and standard will also decrease.
Imitation crab meat is an affordable substitute for real crab meat.
As with any food, excessive intake can also cause health problems.
Though it offers certain benefits, as mentioned above, it is not safe to consume it every day.
Hence, you must limit its intake and choose brands that do not add too many additives.
If you are intolerant to some substances like gluten, avoid it.
The manufacturers use starch in imitation crab meat, and so it is not gluten free.
If you don’t have any issues, buy few packets and store them in the freezer as instructed.
Follow the correct steps for freezing and defrosting, and you can enjoy it in various dishes.
But do keep one thing in mind.
You may find it very tasty, and it is a good substitute; but don’t make it a regular in your diet.