Kanimiso : What part of the crab is this seafood? Crab brains? No!

“Kani Miso (蟹味噌)” is a popular topping of sushi, which looks kind of like light-colored miso paste. I love the sushi ingredient and when I go to a conveyor belt sushi bar called “Kaiten Sushi (回転寿司)” near my house, I definitely have a battleship-style of sushi, called “Gunkanmaki (軍艦巻き)”, topped with kanimiso at least once.

Just as many people in the world like crab meat, many Japanese love the pasty seafood since it is rich in flavor and tasty with plenty of natural umami. However, what part of the crab is kanimiso?

Kanimiso (蟹味噌) : Crab Brains? No!

Many Japanese think that kanimiso is the brains of the crab because the Japanese food name can literally be translated as “Crab brains”, but this is not true.

Actually, the pasty seafood is the mid-gut gland of the crab, in other words, it is an organ with both functions of the liver and the pancreas. The organ, “mid-gut gland” plays an important role in the digestion of food and the storage of nutrients in the arthropod, such as crabs and prawns.

Therefore, kanimiso is the same type of food as foie gras and liver, because the 2 delicacies, foie gras and liver are also internal organs of animals. A common point of these 3 delicacies is that they have a rich, unique flavor.

(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia “カニミソ”)


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

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