Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Processed fish meat product. すり身。

"Surimi" literally means "ground meat." Surimi was developed in Japan many centuries ago (first documented in 1115; tsumire is even older) when it was discovered that washing minced fish meat, and then heating it, resulted in a natural gelling. Such "fish gel products" can then be mixed with other ingredients as starch or egg.

Neriseihin is the general name for such "kneaded seafood." It has a special, somewhat rubbery texture.

Usually white fleshed fish is used of a type that easily gels. In the 1960s frozen surimi was developed.

Products made from surimi are popular in the Japanese kitchen and take many forms.

  • Kamaboko, fish cake formed into distinctive loaves
  • Kanikama, crab sticks, imitation crab legs
  • Chikuwa, tube shaped, broiled fish cake
  • Satsuma-age, fried fish cake from Kagoshima
  • Tsumire, fish balls
  • Gobo-maki, surimi rolled around a piece of burdock and fried
  • Hampen. white, square shaped surimi product with a mild taste
  • Kuro-hampen. Hampen made with whole sardines, giving it a bluish-grey color
  • Jako-ten. Tempura made with surimi and shaped as flat rectangles.
  • Ebi-dango, surimi from shrimp made into balls
  • Ika-dango, surimi from squid made into balls
  • Fish sausage or gyoniku sausage. Sausage made from surimi - tastes unexpectedly fishy!
  • Fish-katsu, fish cutlets, local food from Tokushima
  • Akaten. From Shimane. red chili pepper has been added.
  • Gyorokke, fish croquettes, product of Saga and Oita
The last three products are examples of local products. The others - except the obvious fish sausage - are used as ingredients in Japanese hot pot (nabe-ryori) and oden.

[Surimi from Wikipedia]