There’s no reason to be ashamed of using surimi (imitation crab, sometimes spelled “krab”) in dishes where it works, Bacardi1 says—as long as you’re not trying to pass it off as the real thing. In fact, in dishes like the classic American-Chinese crab rangoon, imitation crab is a better choice, jumpingmonk says: The light, subtle flavor of real crab would be overwhelmed in recipes with strong flavors, and surimi works perfectly well. JungMann‘s filling for crab rangoon includes palate-blasters like sharp cheddar, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, and garlic salt, enclosed in a pastry shell and deep-fried. And the surimi JungMann uses “holds up perfectly and adds a nice sweetness to what is otherwise a salt and fat bomb,” he says.

Discuss: Does crab rangoon have any real crab in it?

Photograph of crab rangoon from Shutterstock

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