7 Things to Know about Kanikama in Japan

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Source: Wikipedia

Kanikama is basically a form of processed seafood also known as “Crab Stick” in the English language. It is made up of Whitefish which is shaped to look like leg meat of snow crab. Other names of this dish are Imitation Crab Meat, Seafood Sticks, and Kani Boko etc. Some important things to know about Kanikama are:

1. History of Kanikama

The famous company of Japan Sugiyo Co. Ltd. produced first Kanikama in 1973 and later in 1974 another company named Osaki Suisan Co. Ltd. produced and patented the Kanikama. In 1976, they introduced it all over the world and their international names such as Krab Sticks, Ocean Sticks, Sea Legs etc  became very famous.

2. Ingredients of Kanikama

Crab Stick
Source: Wikipedia

The main ingredients of crab sticks are finely pulverized white fish, Salt, crab extract, egg, and sugar. Alaska Pollock is the basic ingredient of the Kanikama which is mixed with egg white and red food coloring from outside is provided to sticks to make this dish look more tastier and attractive.

3. Some Famous recipes made by Kanikama

The crab sticks are used in making a variety of dishes. Some famous dishes include mainly Avocado Gratin with melted cream cheese, Taro Root Dumpling with imitation crab meat sauce, Crab sticks and green Onion Chijimi, Crabsticks Cabbage Wraps, Stewed Crab sticks and Cabbage with Sesame seeds etc. The flavor of crab sticks and taste which it provides to different dishes is very outstanding.

4. Health benefits of Kanikama

As it is made from fish called Surimi and many types of fillers, color and flavoring materials are added to it. It is a very useful ingredient which is very cheap than real crab legs. It can be used in many dishes and have many nutrients which are an important part of our diet. So, imitation crab has vitamins, minerals, proteins, and calories etc which are important to our health.

5. Method of making Kanikama

To make delicious Kanikama the fish is skinned, after then boned and rinsed to remove fishiness and then ground into a smooth fine paste. It is then mixed with flavor concentrate which is made of real shellfish and then pastes is cooked and cut into different seafood shapes. At last it is colored red from outside to look alike shellfish.

6. How to preserve Kanikama and where to buy it

Kanikama is easily available in freezers of all the supermarkets. If not opened it can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 months and freezer for near about 6 months. But if opened, it needs to be used in 3 days. It is used in homes for salads, soups, and many other dishes.

7. Best restaurants which serve Kanikama dishes in Japan

Some famous restaurants of Japan which serve best Kanikama dishes are Dancing Crab, Ezo Seafoods, Fish House, Mexico, Singapore Seafood Republic Ginza, Kaikaya, Sukiyabashi Jiro etc. All these restaurants serve high – class dishes made of Kanikama.


  • Name = Kanikam or Crab Stick
  • Total Fat = 0.5 g
  • Saturated fat = 0.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat = 0.1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat = 0.1 g
  • Sugar = 6 g
  • Proteins = Vitamin A 0%, Calcium 1%, Vitamin D 0%, Vitamin B-12 10%, Iron 2%, Magnesium 20%

In the end, it can be said that Kanikama is an important ingredient and processed form of seafood which is a part of Japanese people and also it has numerous health benefits.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan