Neither we consume our groceries all at once, nor we throw away our leftovers. However, our mouthwatering seafood substitution, imitation crab, always becomes a problematic food when we are going to preserve it for future consumption. So, don’t we ask our bestie this question, can you freeze imitation crab? Here, you will be able to get the answers to all your questions regarding imitation crab and how to preserve it properly.
What is Imitation Crab?
It is a type of seafood produced in Japan for the first time in 1970s as an alternative to real crab meat. Soon, it became famous because its texture, flavour, as well as color, resemble a fresh crab. It is cheaper than the real crab meat, though. Imitation crab mostly comes as sticks like sausages. And this food can be identified as ready to go food, since it is pre-cooked. So, what is the secret behind this artifice? it is nothing but whitefish.
Mainly, the paste of finely shredded fish which is called ‘Surimi’ and starch are used to produce this instead of real crab meat. Accordingly, there are some considerable reasons to put a package of imitation crab into your shopping trolly. First and foremost, it is a good substitute for pricy seafood. And also, this pre-cooked meat is quick and easy to prepare in various ways, such as salads, dips, sushi etc. The only thing that you have to do is to heat it in the pan.
If not, you can eat them raw too! When it comes to nutrition facts, there are normally 20 grams of carbohydrates in one serving, although starch is included, which means imitation crab is beneficial for your ketogenic diet. Besides, it contains low sodium and calorie rate. In contrast, there is a lack of protein, vitamins and minerals in imitation crab when compared with real crab meat. Moreover, as with any other proceeded food, imitation crab contains preservatives and various additives, which may not always be good for your health.
Can You Freeze Imitation Crab?
Imitation crab sticks are usually sold frozen with their wrappings (Thermoforming rigid films) like regular sausages in supermarkets and groceries. Therefore, it is easy to guess that we also have to keep this food in our fridge for further consumption.
Indeed, the short answer to this question is ‘yes’. Nevertheless, there are some points to keep in our mind when we are going to preserve imitation crab. And, like any other item that we consume, you must check the expiration date before buying imitation crab. Depending on the manufacturer, quantity and preservative of the product, the expiry date may alter from product to product.
If you have a brand-new imitation crab package which is unopened, there is no case; you can quickly keep it in the freezer as usual. But if you have some remaining meat from an opened package, the following way may help you to keep them fresh without spoiling its full flavour.
Snap and Seal
It is convenient to use in the future, if you have already broken your imitation crab into pieces before you seal and freeze it. Otherwise, it would take time to defrost and cook it next time. So, don’t be afraid to snap. Then, you should seal it well, using freezer bag, freezer-friendly bag or firmly sealed container. If you are going to use a freezer bag, make sure to vacuum it. And it’s better to wrap with plastic wrap, foil or cling film, too, to avoid spreading the smell of the meat outside and maintain its flavor. Yes, it takes time. But it is better to do so rather than experience awful taste when you have imitation crab next time.
Say no to ‘again and again’
It can be recommended to freeze for the first time. Nonetheless, freezing again and again will surely harm its flavour. Because obstructive bacteria can active inside the meat while refreezing, and it causes it to spoil its freshness. And the taste of the meat would not be pleasant on your tongue.
Fridge or Freezer?
Depending on the openness of your imitation crab, it may vary the way of freezes and the shelf life of the meat according to the time. Let’s start with an unopened package. It is totally okay to store an unopened package in your fridge, but make sure to check if it has been vacuumed and sealed.
Then, you will be able to store it in the fridge for 30 to 60 days. On the contrary, if your supermarket offers them in loose packages, you have to use them within 3 to 5 days after storing them in the fridge. Fortunately, the time exceeds if you use freezer for the imitation crab as 10 to 12 months for well-sealed packages and 6 months for loose packages.
In the case of already-opened imitation crab packages, 07 days is the maximum time to store it in the fridge. But you should wrap the meat very well as aforesaid methods. If you want to keep them fresh furthermore, you have to store it in the freezer. Then, you will be able to use them for 06 months.
Can you freeze imitation crab now? Of course, you were got much knowledge about how to preserve them. Then, let’s discuss how to defrost them. If you stored them in the freezer, make sure to keep them in the fridge, before you cook them. It will surely help to melt the ice.
In case you forgot to do it or you are in a rush, what you can do? Take a glass ball full of ice, and place the container of imitation crab above it. We all love seafood. But the substitute, imitation crab, come to our rescue whenever we want to quick, easy and cheap seafood snack with different options for tasting it.
Therefore, it is worth being aware of how to preserve it properly at home. Thereafter, you will be able to save your leftover imitation crab. And you will not want to ask the same question from your bestie!
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