Instant relief from crabby moodsNo matter how much we stress healthy eating, there are some things Koreans just can’t live without.
For one thing, there’s instant food. Life without instant noodles, for instance, is unimaginable.
Sure, we can survive without instant food. But as long as it doesn’t kill us (and according to some statistics, it might), we’d prefer to keep our small pleasures.
In fact, manufacturers are constantly developing new ways to suit the changing tastes of consumers.
They’ve come up with MSG-free noodles, unsalted Spam and chocolate cookies labeled “well-being” because the snacks were made from locally-produced wheat. When cholesterol’s dangers were in the news, farmers started introducing eggs from chickens fed with stuff like ginger or bamboo leaves, which supposedly filter through the chicken into the egg.
One thing I find I can’t stop eating is Crami, a fancier version of imitation crabmeat that the company’s Web site says is made from Alaskan Pollack caught in unpolluted waters.
Crami is quite addictive. It has the curious scent of crabmeat on the surface, which is elaborately covered in red flesh reminiscent of lobster. The texture, too, was made to resemble real crabmeat.
Recently I found out that some of my friends are also Crami addicts. One told me over one dinner that the meat tastes exactly like steamed crab when you heat it up in a microwave for two minutes. She insisted that I try it ― I did, and she was right. Another friend told me a recipe for salad using Crami mixed in a bed of mayonnaise.
What’s really addictive about Crami is that it tastes strangely healthy when you’re eating it. It doesn’t “feel” like junk food at all. Yet it’s nothing but fish soaked in crab extract and buckets of sodium.
According to the manufacturer, Crami has revolutionized the “deep sea fisheries” industry.
Indeed. A quick Internet search turns up hundreds of Crami recipes, from salad to porridge, canapes to fried rice. It’s a modern alternative to Spam or canned tuna.
It’s not the most health-conscious dining choice and it won’t extend your life. But then neither are stress or electromagnetic waves from computer monitors, both good reasons to take a break and chow down on some Crami.
How to Cook
Crami fried rice
Ingredients (serves 2): 6 sticks of Crami, 4 cups of rice, 3 eggs, 100g pork, 50g carrots, 5 shitake mushroom, 1 red pepper, 1/2 onion, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, a dash of salt, pepper, sesame oil and olive oil.
1. Cut the pork into thin slices. Tear the Crami into thin strands.
2. On a pan, pour oil and cracked eggs. Stir gently on low heat.
3. When the pan heats up, add sliced carrots, green pepper, onions and pork.
4. Add shitake mushrooms and Crami.
5. Add steamed rice. Stir for five to seven minutes.
by Park Soo-mee