If you’re a seafood lover but don’t live by the sea, you might struggle to get hold of fresh crab. While this is unfortunate, we’re lucky enough to be blessed with a tasty alternative.
That alternative is of course imitation crab. Also known by the name Kani sticks, imitation crab is a Japanese invention.
Both delicious and affordable, Kani sticks are made from a species of fish called surimi and are sold in most stores, unlike fresh crab.
Providing those without fresh crab their seafood fix, imitation crab is also super versatile. Whether it be put in a pasta dish, casserole, salad, or appetizer, it tastes great. Some people even like to eat it on its own.
Today, we want to share the best imitation crab recipes with you so that you can try something new. In this article, you’ll find 19 awesome imitation crab recipes.
If you’re bored of eating crab sticks the same way every time, you’ve come to the right place!
1. Crab Salad
First up, we have this super simple, yet very flavorful crab salad. Made in just 30 minutes, this is the perfect imitation crab recipe for those in a rush or on a diet. This hearty salad is light, vibrant, tasty, and full of nutrients.
The best thing about this healthy salad? You can throw in any extra veggies you want.
If you’re looking for the perfect imitation crab BBQ side dish, we think we’ve found it for you. Perfectly balancing out the meaty flavors of the BBQ, this fresh salad can be thrown together in just 15 minutes.
Including ingredients like macaroni, black olives, celery, and even some shrimp, this salad is a flavor explosion. It’s also full of goodness and beautifully light.
The perfect imitation crab snack, this tempura fried crab stick recipe lets you create bite-sized crab bites that are light and full of flavor. They can also be dressed up for a special occasion and make a great appetizer.
The tempura flavors go brilliantly when dipped in a fresh tartar sauce too. Made in 15 minutes, the batter used to make the stick bites isn’t that unhealthy either so you don’t need to feel guilty.
Stuffed potatoes are one of those comfort foods we always end up going back to, so why not take them up a level by stuffing them with crab.
The crab meat gives the twice-baked potatoes an impactful flavor, whilst the addition of the onions adds that little bit of something else.
8 servings can be made in one hour, giving you and the family a tasty dinner.
At your next BBQ party, you simply have to try this crab-stuffed mushrooms recipe (see also ‘27 Best Mushroom Recipes For Family Meals‘). Perfect when served alongside a burger or grilled kebab, these stuffed mushrooms are delicious.
The combination of crab, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mushrooms is delightful.
Full of flavor, we can promise you won’t have any leftovers after your guests get their hands on these. To top things off, they even have that gourmet appearance.
This imitation crab salad is fresh, packed with flavor, healthy, and versatile. Topped with a curry mayo dressing and things get even better.
Easily made in advance, this salad can be lunch for the whole family. The dressing adds extra flavor and the cabbage extra freshness. The carrot offers contrast, while the crab sticks are the star of the show.
Generally speaking, seafood isn’t a very kid-friendly meal. However, this crab and shrimp salad is an exception. It’s super simple, vibrant, healthy, and of course, delicious.
An olive oil-based pasta, this recipe contains tomato chunks, crab, shrimp, and spaghetti. You can use other types of pasta but spaghetti elevates the dish. Oh, and don’t forget to top the pasta with a generous amount of parmesan.
We never thought anything could make macaroni and cheese better than it already is. However, this crab macaroni and cheese recipe might do just that.
Creamy, extremely cheesy, exciting, and absolutely delicious, this macaroni and cheese recipe is up there with the best we’ve ever had.
The strong flavors of the macaroni and cheese work wonderfully with the mild fishy flavor of the crab. This is the best comfort meal you can make for the family.
Let’s face it, crab cakes were always going to be on this list. They are tasty, easy to make, and perfect for a summer’s day lunch.
The best thing about this simple recipe is that even with the imitation crab, these crab cakes rival any crab cake you’ve ever had. The Old Bay Spice and lemon go together brilliantly.
Why not turn them into a crab cake burger to make things more interesting.
10. Buffalo Crab Dip
If you enjoy a traditional buffalo chicken dip, you’ll appreciate this recipe. Combining the imitation crab with all your favorite buffalo dip flavors, this dip is exciting, vibrant, and perfect for parties.
Full of zesty flavor, this smooth sauce tastes great on a tortilla chip. All it takes to make the sauce is imitation crab, ranch dressing (see also ‘12 Of The Very Best Store-Bought Ranch Dressings Available Today‘), buffalo sauce, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese.
11. Snow Sushi Roll
Did you know that imitation crab is popular in the world of sushi (see also ‘23 Easy Sushi Recipes For Vegetarians’)? It stays fresher for longer and tastes the same. It’s also much cheaper.
With that being said, why not impress your family and friends by making your own imitation crab snow sushi rolls (see also ‘14 Best Sushi Rolls Ranked By How Popular They Are‘).
The perfect entry point for making your first batch of sushi, this recipe offers a light and crunchy twist on a popular classic (California roll).
Putting imitation crab in this Mexican classic may seem strange but one bite will make you realize just how good they are.
A hearty meal packed with flavor, texture, and plenty of cheese, you’ll soon realize that this recipe is a fantastic use of imitation crab.
You do need quite a few ingredients and good wrapping skills, but it’s well worth the effort. The combination of flavors and the crispiness of the tortilla wraps is unbeatable.
13. Crab Rangoon
The next recipe on our list is a huge hit in Chinese cuisine. An appetizer in most Chinese restaurants, crab rangoon is a crispy, deep-fried imitation crab treat. Originally invented in the United States, this recipe only needs three ingredients.
Those ingredients are wonton wrappers, imitation crab, and cream cheese. Mix the crab and cheese together, season with salt, wrap your mixture in the wonton wrapper and fry until golden and crispy.
14. Crab Rangoon Dip
If you want to enjoy everything crab rangoon has to offer but need to stay away from deep-fried foods, try this crab rangoon dip instead.
Offering you all the creamy, cheesy goodness a normal crab rangoon gives us, this recipe is a much healthier alternative.
Not to mention, it’s also super tasty. The recipe even shows you how to include wonton chips in your dip.
Casseroles are seen as perfect family dinners or buffet food, but let’s be honest, they can get pretty boring. Why not make casseroles more exciting again by following this gorgeous imitation crab casserole recipe.
Loaded with crab and packed with healthy veggies, this casserole looks and tastes amazing. We must say, the cheesy topping completes the dish.
If you love a good lobster roll, you’ll know just how frustrating it can be when you can’t find any fresh lobster. Luckily for us, imitation crab is a great substitute.
Super easy to make and much more affordable, a good imitation crab lobster roll is the perfect replacement.
Mix your shredded imitation crab with garlic powder, pepper, green onions, and may for the freshest, best-tasting imitation lobster roll.
Similar to a Chinese egg drop soup (see also ‘21 Easy Chinese Soup Recipes‘), this crab drop egg soup recipe is perfect for those times you need something to comfort your stomach after eating something spicy.
Delightfully fresh, light, healthy, and fragrant this soup takes very little time to make and combines every flavor wonderfully. Made with a variety of interesting ingredients, this soup is also a solid option for anyone following a diet.
The penultimate imitation crab recipe on our list is this excellent crab dip recipe. This crab dip recipe is an amazing appetizer that can be enjoyed with a range of foods. Whether it be toasted bread, veggie sticks, or crackers, this dip will work.
No chance of any leftovers, you can make this dip by adding cream cheese, mayo, and spices to the imitation crab.
The final recipe on our list is this delicious crab rangoon cup recipe. That’s right, we’re not done with crab rangoon yet!
These crab rangoon cups look spectacular and taste even better. In our opinion, these cups are the best finger food imitation crab snacks.
An awesome side dish and appetizer too, these crab cups will make you look like a professional chef when in reality, they took a matter of minutes to make.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Method For Cooking Imitation Crab?
The best way you can cook imitation crab quickly is by using a microwave. Simply heat the crab at intervals of 20 to 30 seconds until it reaches the desired temperature.
Is Imitation Crab Bad For You?
Generally speaking, no, imitation crab isn’t bad for you. However, it shouldn’t be eaten all the time. Unlike real crab, imitation crab contains fewer nutrients and vitamins. It also contains sugars, salt, preservatives, and stabilizers.
Don’t worry though, eating imitation crab occasionally is absolutely fine.
Can Imitation Crab Be Eaten Raw?
Yes, you can eat imitation crab raw. In fact, most people like to eat it straight out of the packaging, as it doesn’t require any cooking.
That concludes our list of imitation crab recipes. As you can see from our list, imitation crab is incredibly versatile. In fact, it works in virtually any recipe. We can do almost anything with it.
In this article, we showed you 19 awesome recipes. This should be more than enough to get you started on your imitation crab cooking journey. The only problem you may face is deciding which recipes to try first.
If we had to recommend one for you, we’d have to recommend the crab macaroni and cheese. This is simply the best comfort meal you can make with imitation crab.