Surimi - Another Seafood Success Story
Surimi, often known as imitation crab, is made from mild-tasting white fish, usually Alaskan Pollock and Pacific Whiting. The flavor can be similar to that of crab, shrimp, lobster, or other shellfish, but it's far more convenient, has a much longer shelf life, and - since it's cooked during processing - is easy to use. It's found in seafood salads and sushi, such as California rolls, and even ceviche. As for surimi recipes, there are many with an international accent - surimi is far more than a simple seafood salad. Even better, it's a low-fat alternative to some meats, a healthy addition to a diet.
Jae Park, OSU Professor at the Seafood Research and Education Center in Astoria, literally wrote the book on surimi. His textbook, now in its 3rd edition, was the first written about this value-added product. A pioneer in the surimi industry, Jae developed the annual Surimi School 20 years ago; it has expanded to Asia, Europe, and Japan. The Surimi Industry Forum is now in its 12th year. And, not surprising, Dr. Park was named one of Seafood's Most Powerful Executives in 2012.
To quote Peg Herring of OSU, about surimi, "The Japanese invented it, the French love it, and it has saved the jobs of a fleet of fishermen in the North Pacfic." For the full article, follow this link.
An excellent article on safe and sustainable seafood in Oregon's Agricultural Progress mentions Jae's efforts as a surimi pioneer.
Another article in "Growing Oregon's Economy" on Jae's surimi research can be read here.
If you're looking for creative recipes featuring surimi, check out the following links: