Kamaboko is a loaf or cake of ground or puréed, steamed fish. It is available fresh in Asian markets and is generally white but occasionally has food coloring (usually pink or red, sometimes brown, green or yellow) brushed on the surface. It's used in numerous Japanese preparations including soups, noodles and simmered dishes. Chikuwa is kamaboko shaped into rolls formed around bamboo stick. Ita-kamaboko is shaped into squares or rectangles on wood planks that are usually made of cypress.