Imitation Crabmeat

Can I substitute imitation crabmeat made with whitefish in recipes calling for crabmeat, such as crab cakes? Real crabmeat is just so expensive. Thanks for all your good advice. —K.C., Chuckey, Tennessee

Imitation crabmeat, most often made with Alaskan pollack, is best when used as an ingredient in salads, appetizers, casseroles and soups. However, it can be substituted for real crab in equal proportions in other recipes, if you keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be different than the real thing. In addition, the cooking time in the recipe may need to be adjusted, since imitation crabmeat is already cooked. It can be used in cold dishes or heated through when used in hot dishes.