Can You Keep Kamaboko & Narutomaki In The Fridge Or Frozen?

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Kamaboko is a fish cake popular in Japan and other parts of Asia. It is made from white fish, such as pollock, and has a smooth, creamy texture.

But how long can you keep these fish cakes? And what happens if you can’t eat it all and it goes bad?

Let’s look at refrigerating, freezing, and what to do to eat them again.

Can you refrigerate and freeze kamaboko

Kamaboko and narutomaki can be kept sealed in the fridge for up to 90 days, or 9 once opened. It’s also very easy to freeze kamaboko for up to 9 months when opened. Just cut off a slice from the still frozen log when you need a piece.

Here are all of your options for keeping your kamaboko for the longest possible time.

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What is in Kamaboko?

Kamaboko is boiled, steamed, or grilled white fish that’s been pounded into a paste to be able to form the long oval logs of fish cake.

In order to get a great-tasting cake, a lot of salt, sugar, fish sauce, and sake have been added, which also helps with preserving the kamaboko for longer.

Can you keep kamaboko outside of the fridge?

Kamaboko is in the cooled section of the supermarket, and that’s because the fish cakes need to be refrigerated, or they will last for no longer than half a day.

So if you don’t plan on eating them right away, it’s best to keep them in the fridge or with a cool ice pack in your cool bag.

How long can you keep kamaboko in the fridge?

Kamaboko’s shelf-life is 90 days for most vacuum-packed brands. That is if you don’t open the bag before refrigerating it. Once opened, you should consume the fish cake within 9 days and store it in an airtight container.

How to freeze Kamaboko

If you bought a stick of kamaboko or narutomaki, chances are you won’t be able to finish the whole thing before it expires. Especially if you have only 9 days once it has been opened.

Luckily you can easily freeze the kamaboko for later use. Just freeze it in its original vacuum-sealed bag for the longest storage possible, or transfer what you have left over to a new vacuum-sealed bag or container.

You don’t have to cut up the kamaboko into little portion-sized chunks because you can always cut of slices, even from frozen kamaboko.

If you keep it in the opened bag, though, frostbite will start to show sooner, and the kamaboko will freezer burn. This will affect its taste and chewiness, so it’s best to store it where the cold air can’t reach.

How long can you store kamaboko in the freezer?

Fresh vacuum-sealed kamaboko straight from the shop should be good to freeze for up to 2 years. When it is opened, it can be stored in the freezer in a zip-lock bag for up to 9 months and still taste the same, or even longer if you don’t mind a slight change in taste or texture.

How to use frozen kamaboko or narutomaki

Kamaboko can be eaten fresh or frozen. Either way, you just cut off a slice, even from a frozen log, and use that in your soup or other hot dishes.

How to thaw frozen Kamaboko

If you need to thaw kamaboko, perhaps because you aren’t planning on using it in warm dishes, then you can thaw it at room temperature for around 30 minutes for use in a cold dish or boil it for 10 minutes to use it warmed up.

How to tell if kamaboko has gone bad

Kamaboko will be good to eat if it doesn’t look slimy or smells overly fishy.

You’ll know your kamaboko has gone bad when it changes color, usually to brown or grey. The surface might also become dry and hard.

The Kamaboko paste can also change, becoming watery and less smooth.

In the freezer, it should keep for much longer and be safe to eat even after two years. Although the frostbite might have changed the taste slightly, it’s still safe to eat.


Kamaboko can stay fresh for quite some time and it’s very easy to freeze and thaw if you need a few pieces at a time.

A great ingredient to always have in your freezer!

Also read: can dogs and cats eat kamaboko. Your questions answered

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.