Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes- I Love Crab Cakes!

The basic recipe for this crab cake originates in a great little book entitled: "I Love Crab Cakes".  It features dozens of  crab cake and related recipes.

This particular crab cake incorporates the great flavours of fresh ginger and coconut with the crab meat.  I'm going "Thai" by adding lemongrass, fish sauce and Thai peppers.

This recipe makes eight large crab cakes.

1     lb crabmeat, drained and lightly squeezed if wet.
1     cup mayonnaise
1/2  cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
1/4  cup finely diced red bell pepper
2     tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1     stalk of fresh lemongrass, finely minced
1     tbsp fish sauce
1     Thai hot pepper, seeded and finely minced
1/2  tsp kosher salt
1/2  tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2  cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 1 more cup for dredging
1/2  cup panko, plus one more cup for dredging
6     tbsps safflower or grapeseed oil
Lime wedges

Put the crabmeat in a large bowl and add the mayonnaise, scallions, bell pepper, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, hot pepper, salt and pepper.  Gently combine using a rubber spatula.  Add the 1/2 cup coconut and 1/2 cup panko and gently fold in.  Divide the mixture into 8 mounds and form into patties about three inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.  Put the patties on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.

When you are ready to fry the crab cakes,m combine the remaining one cup coconut and one cup of panko in a shallow container.  Lightly dredge the patties in the crumbs, shaking off any excess.  Add about three tablespoons of oil and heat to medium-high.  When the pan is hot, add four patties.  Turn down the heat to medium and fry the cakes until golden and heated through, turning once with a spatula to brown both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

Serve with a side of sweet chili sauce and wedges of lime.

Wanna play?
I am making these cakes in my slider maker (see the Indian  Aloo-ki-tikira recipe) so my nine cakes will be square.  I like to make a big batch and freeze.  You can choose to brown the patties and freeze.  They will just need to be reheated in the oven.  Or, you can freeze without browning and brown from frozen just before serving.  If they brown too quickly, finish them in the oven to ensure the middle of the cakes is cooked through.

You could also change the flavour profile: for example, if you want Moroccan, you could add minced, dried apricots, cinnamon and honey instead of the coconut, ginger, lemongrass and peppers... I would still dredge in coconut...

To make them gluten free, omit the panko and make crumbs from a gluten free cracker.


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