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Fish paste-based products

Adapting Japanese seafood to the modern dining table, the flavor is ever-improving.

Oden

Creating classic Japanese flavor using modern technology

Surrounded on all sides by the sea, Japan has depended on marine resources for protein. Throughout the ages and across the country people have made and eaten seafood products such as hanpen (a boiled surimi fish paste filled with tiny air bubbles), kamaboko (loafs of surimi fish paste steamed on small wooden boards until firm), satsuma-age (fried fish paste sometimes with other ingredients mixed in), and chikuwa (surimi fish paste grilled wrapped around a spit).

These processed fish products are made through a series of production processes. First, the meat of white-fleshed fish such as Alaska pollock is minced and repeatedly and thoroughly rinsed in water. After this rinsing process only protein that does not dissolve in water remains as an accumulation of pure fish protein known as surimi or fish paste. Seasonings, salt, and other flavorings are added to this fish paste and ground together to make flavored fish paste. The flavored fish paste is then shaped, such as into loafs on small wooden boards, tubes wrapped around spits, or round or square patties. It is then cooked using various means-boiling for hanpen, steaming for kamaboko, frying in oil for satsuma-age, and grilling for chikuwa-creating processed fish products with different shapes, textures, and delicious tastes.

Kamaboko
Kamaboko

Loafs of surimi fish paste steamed on small wooden boards until firm

Crab-flavored seafood
Crab-flavored seafood

Surimi fish paste flavored and shaped to resemble crab meat

Tsumire (fish balls)
Tsumire (fish balls)

Sardine-based surimi fish paste shaped into balls and boiled

Uogashi-age
Uogashi-age

A deep-fried blend of surimi fish paste and tofu

Suji
Suji

A boiled blend of surimi fish paste and cartilage

Nabedane
Nabedane

A steamed blend of surimi fish paste and other ingredients such as shrimp for use in hot pot dishes

Chikuwa
Chikuwa

Surimi fish paste grilled wrapped around a spit

Hanpen
Hanpen

Boiled surimi fish paste filled with tiny air bubbles

Date-maki
Date-maki

Grilled surimi fish paste mixed with egg and flavorings such as sugar

Naruto-maki
Naruto-maki

Boiled surimi fish paste characterized by a spiral pattern on the cross section

Sasakama
Sasakama

Grilled surimi fish paste shaped like bamboo leaves

Chee Chiku
Chee Chiku

Chikuwa tubes with a Camembert-like cheese filling

Satsuma-age
Satsuma-age

Fried fish paste sometimes with other ingredients mixed in

What is surimi ?

Surimi is a pure fish protein. It can be obtained by washing fresh fish with cold water after removing all bones and skin. After washing, only surimi remains.

Surimi has some interesting and desirable properties. It does not dissolve in ordinary water, but it does dissolve with a little salt. Then, when the melted surimi is cooked at high temperature, it gels. It doesn't matter if the surimi is steamed, boiled, stir-fried or fried, but the cooking method determines the final texture.

pollack

pollack

Of course, some fish are better surimi than other fish. Therefore, this delicious protein is categorized by the type of fish. Some of the most popular are pollack.

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