ABSTRACT: Elver substitutes made from kamaboko-type fish gels have recently been introduced onto the market in Spain. Kamaboko is made by addition of 2.5 to 3.0% salt, and optionally other additives, to surimi (minced fish). The present study investigated the usefulness of microscopy techniques for characterizing the structure and composition of two elver substitutes of this type. Sensory and physicochemical analyses were also performed, with the aim of defining the organoleptic characteristics of these products. The results obtained indicate that microscopy techniques are useful for rapid identification of certain additives in products of this type. Furthermore, many of the between-brand differences in microscopic appearance showed clear correspondence with differences in physicochemical and sensory properties.