Kani Miso: What part of the crab is this seafood? Brains? No!

“Kani Miso (蟹味噌: Crab Miso)” is a popular topping of sushi, which, as its name literally indicates, looks kind of like miso paste.

I love the sushi ingredient, and in fact, every time I go to a conveyor belt sushi bar “Kaiten Sushi (回転寿司)” near my house, at least once I definitely have the Gunkan maki (battleship roll) crowned with Kani Miso.

Kani Miso Crab Sushi

Just as many people around the world like crab meat, many Japanese people love the Kani Miso paste because of its plenty of natural umami. But do you know what part of the crab Kani Miso is?

Kani Miso (蟹味噌): Crab Brains? No!

Kanimiso paste

Many people living in Japan think that Kani Miso is the brains of the crab probably because the name can translate to “crab brains”, but strictly speaking this is not true.

Kani Miso, the pasty food with a light brown or gray color is actually the mid-gut gland of the crab. In other words, it is an organ with both functions of the liver and the pancreas.

Incidentally, 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, it can be said that Kani Miso is the same type of food as foie gras and liver, as these delicacies or Chinmi are all internal organs of animals and each has a rich, unique taste.

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


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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