It is quite natural for surimi to have been created by the Japanese, since fish have been their main source of food for centuries. Centuries ago, they discovered that fish have quite a unique property. If ground meat was made from white oceanic fish, and then cleaned and drained, the product could be used for the preparation of delicious food in all kinds of varieties.
Gradually, Japanese chefs diversified their surimi recipes and today, they number in the thousands. Surimi has neither a distinct flavor, nor its own smell.
The most common product, made from surimi, is crab sticks, also known as imitation crab. They do not contain actual crab meat, but surimi instead. This is always written on the packaging. There is a myth that surimi is made from the leftover waste of canned fish, but this is not true.
Whenever choosing a surimi product, it must look appetizing, juicy and elastic. If you buy frozen surimi products, never freeze them a second time.
This will not only ruin the flavor but their appearance as well. You can thaw surimi products in the microwave but it is best to let them unfreeze at room temperature.