How to cook surimi lobster tails [full recipe with easy instructions]

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  October 5, 2022

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Have you ever had baked surimi lobster tails? They’re actually not made of lobster at all, but they’re a delicious seafood treat nonetheless.

Surimi is a type of seafood made from white fish that has been pureed and molded into the shape of lobster tails.

It is often sold frozen and can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets.

How to cook surimi lobster tails [full recipe with easy instructions]
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Although surimi is pre-cooked, you can cook it or add it to your favorite recipes.

Surimi lobster tails are easy to cook and make a great addition to any meal.

Cooking instructions for surimi lobster tails

The best way to cook surimi lobster tails is to bake them in the oven with a bit of butter to give the surimi a soft texture on the inside and a crispy exterior.

Serve with dipping sauce or a side of rice and vegetables.

Surimi lobster tails are also a healthy and low-calorie seafood option.

So, if you are looking for a delicious and nutritious meal, be sure to try surimi lobster tails!

How to cook surimi lobster tails [full recipe with easy instructions] recipe card

Surimi lobster tails recipe

Joost Nusselder
Lobster tail surimi tastes best when it is baked in the oven with a bit of butter. The savory flavor and soft buttery texture make this dish perfect for any seafood lover!
No ratings yet
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package of surimi lobster tails about 8-10 tails
  • 1/4 cup of butter melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Thaw the surimi lobster tails according to instructions.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, salt, and black pepper.
  • Place the thawed surimi lobster tails on a baking sheet and brush each tail with the butter mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the surimi is heated through and slightly golden in color. Cook for 40 minutes if you want it very well done.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Keyword surimi
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Do you have to cook surimi lobster tails?

No, because surimi seafood is already fully cooked and ready to eat immediately upon opening the package.

Because they are already cooked, imitation crab and imitation lobster can be added to dishes such as stir-fries, soups, and casseroles without further preparation.

Can surimi be substituted for crab? If you desire the robust flavor and firm texture of fresh crab, the answer is a resounding “No.”

We learned that the key to successfully utilizing surimi was not to prepare it. If possible, serve it warm and add it just before serving.

Because it does not need to be cooked or even warmed, it is ideal for use in salads and other applications where heat is unnecessary or minimal.

And, of course, surimi lobster tails make a delicious and healthy seafood option. So, if you are looking for an easy and nutritious meal, be sure to try surimi lobster tails!

Also read: The 21 types of sushi to know for your Japanese restaurant trip

Cooking tips

Here are a few tips to help you cook surimi lobster tails:

  • Thaw the surimi according to instructions before cooking.
  • Be careful about handling the surimi too much, as it can easily fall apart.
  • Don’t over-bake the surimi. While some recipes might tell you to cook them in the oven for over 45 minutes, it can make the “meat” too tender.
  • You can add more spices to the buttery mixture. Besides classic herbs like parsley and thyme, try adding Old Bay seasoning or Cajun spices for an extra bit of flavor.

Substitutions and variations

If you cannot find surimi lobster tails, you can also use imitation crab or shrimp.

For a healthier option, substitute olive oil for butter.

If you want a little more flavor, try adding some garlic or herbs to the butter mixture.

If you don’t like baking the surimi lobster tails, you can try grilling or frying them.

Grilled surimi lobster tails are best for salads and sandwiches, while fried surimi lobster tails make a great appetizer or main dish.

Honestly, there aren’t too many variations or substitutions you can make with this dish. You either love surimi lobster tails, or you don’t.

My main advice is to play around with the seasonings because the surimi can taste quite bland.

What is surimi lobster tails?

Surimi lobster tails are a type of seafood made from white fish that has been pureed and molded into the shape of lobster tails.

It’s also known as “poor man’s lobster,” but don’t worry, it’s tasty, and it’s a great food source for anyone.

This food is NOT lobster tails and doesn’t actually contain lobster. Rather, it is an imitation lobster product made from white fish (usually pollock) and other ingredients.

Despite the fact that surimi is not real lobster, it is still a very popular food. In fact, many people believe that it tastes even better than lobster!

The reason why they make it into the shape of lobster tails is because that is the most popular way to eat lobster.

And, since surimi is usually cheaper than real lobster, it is a great way to enjoy the taste of lobster without spending a lot of money.

These surimi lobster tails look like white and orange or red rolls. From a distance, you can even mistake them for larger sushi rolls.

Origin

The term “surimi” in Japanese literally means “ground meat.” This food was originally created in China as a way to extend the life of fish.

Japanese cooks used to grind and salt leftover fish as a way to preserve their extra catch, and this practice led to the creation of surimi in the 12th century.

A Japanese chemist discovered in the 1960s that by stabilizing the product, freezing it, and extending its shelf life by adding sugar to the conventional surimi-making procedure, he could make a product that was similar in texture to fresh fish.

Surimi comes in various shapes, and it’s most commonly used as imitation crab in sushi rolls. The lobster tail shape is also available in Japanese stores, but it’s not really as common.

How to serve and eat

Serve surimi lobster tails with your favorite dipping sauce, or simply enjoy them plain. They make a great appetizer or main course.

Because they are already cooked, you can add them to dishes such as salads, stir-fries, soups, and casseroles without further preparation.

You can also substitute them for real crab or shrimp in recipes.

Many people like to eat surimi lobster rolls as finger food.

The baked rolls taste savory but a bit bland, so it’s best to make a tasty dipping sauce to give them more flavor.

You can try one of the teppanyaki dipping sauces since they taste good with seafood too!

How to store

Once baked, you can store the surimi lobster tails in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Make sure to eat them within this time frame because they will start to spoil and become inedible after that.

You can also freeze the surimi lobster tails for up to 2 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating.

How to reheat

When reheating, make sure that the surimi lobster tails are heated all the way through to avoid food poisoning.

The best way to reheat them is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the surimi lobster tails on a baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until heated all the way through.

Similar dishes

If you like surimi lobster tails, you might also like:

  • Imitation crab sticks
  • Surimi sushi
  • Kani kama (imitation crab meat)
  • Fishcakes (or the famous kamaboko in Japanese)
  • Gefilte fish
  • Quenelles
  • Croquettes

You can cook many of these dishes in a similar way to surimi lobster tails. Simply substitute the seafood ingredient for surimi and follow the recipe instructions.

Conclusion

If you’ve always wondered what to do with surimi lobster tails and don’t like to eat them raw, baking is a great way to prepare them.

This cooking method is simple and only takes a few minutes. Then, you can just munch on them as is or serve them with a delicious dipping sauce.

I enjoy eating surimi lobster tails as an appetizer or main course. They are also a great addition to stir-fries, soups, and casseroles.

Serve the surimi lobster tails along with a refreshing Pako (fiddlehead fern) salad, and you will definitely impress your guests!

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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.