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I was browsing through my book on Asian foods today++nothing in surimi as such, but here's what it says about Kameboko which is very similar, if not the same thing... I suspect the process for making surimi is much the same.

Firm, slightly rubbery-textured cakes of ground fish are a popular ingredient in Japanese cooking. They are added to soups, simmered dishes and noodles and are served as hors d'oeuvre. The name comes from an ancient word for the "cattail" reed. Fish is pureed, bound with a starch-usually kuzu, arrowroot or potato formed into blocks and steamed. Sometimes food color-most often pink-red, but occasionally green, yellow or brown-is brushed over the top to give an attractive slice when cut.

It is sold in vacuum-sealed packs that should be refrigerated and used within one week. To use, slice kamaboko and add in final stages of cooking, as it needs only to be heated.

From "The Encyclopedia of Asian Foods and Cooking", Jacki Passmore, 1991. Hearst Books, NY. ISBN 0-688-10448-7.

Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; August 6 1993.

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