What exactly is imitation crab? First of all per serving, it has 15 to 20 grams of carbs! The last I checked crab didn't have any carbohydrates. So where do they come from? It starts with an overly processes white fish (Cod) and fortified with sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Cod is used primarily because it has a mild flavor that easily takes on the flavor of real crab meat, but also because it is cheap.
To create the "crab meat", they mince up the flesh of the fish, and suck out the water to make a thick paste known as surimi. Then they add starch (usually wheat or tapioca) to stiffen up the mixture. It wouldn't be our modern food supply without sugar...so they add that for a preservative so it can last forever in our fridge! Then they add egg whites to stabilize the "crab" which adds gloss and shine. Vegetable oil are also usually added to enhance the texture. If that wasn't gross enough... to create the proper color and flavor, manufacturers add a variety of artificial flavorings; such as, carmine, caramel, paprika, and annatto extract – which, also adds the pink color found in real crab meat. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is also found in some brands to help enhance the flavor. Now is that something you really want to eat? AND do I have to go over what cocktail sauce is made out of??? The first ingredient is usually High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Let's try this recipe instead...
2 pounds fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
4 red peppers, sliced
1/2 pound nitrate-free bacon strips, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes
Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound crabmeat, flaked (I found mine at Sam's)
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 TBS macadamia nut or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
OPTIONAL: hard boiled eggs
Cut the asparagus and peppers into 2 inch pieces. Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add in the asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, crab to the bacon (and grease from the bacon) and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the lemon juice, oil, and 1 minced clove garlic together in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Makes 10 servings.
NUTRITONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Using Imitation Crab = 173 calories, 13 carbs, 2.8g fiber
"Healthified" Salad = 163 calories, 6 carbs, 2.8g fiber