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Alternative To Fresh Crab

Asked by SAMISAM. Answered on 18th June 2021

Full question

Is it possible to use imitation crab in Nigella's dishes? We don't always have access to fresh crab where I live.

Image of Nigella's Crab Mac 'N' Cheese
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin
Crab Mac 'n' Cheese
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella has several crab dishes, such as Crab Mac 'N' Cheese (from COOK, EAT, REPEAT and Tuna, Crab and Avocado Wraps (from NIGELLA SUMMER). They use fresh crab, which you can often buy ready-picked in tubs (white and brown meat separately) or as dressed crab from a fishmonger or some supermarkets.

If fresh crab is not available then frozen crab would be the best alternative and there are several companies selling frozen crab on-line. Imitation crab, also known as crab sticks or seafood sticks, is made from white fish (such as pollock) that is flavoured to taste like crab. We have not used imitation crab ourselves but we suspect that it could be used in the dishes if no other option is available. However, imitation crab is quite processed and can taste more salty than fresh or frozen crab, so you should taste any of the dishes before seasoning them. Also, the imitation crab can't really replace the flavour from brown crab meat, which has an intense, almost pâté-like quality, in some of the sauces.

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