We love, love, love them. Particularly when we make them at home. Why? Because we manage all the steps and we can make them the way we like — the simpler the better. The quicker the fry the better. The less breadcrumb filling the better. The more crab the better. The FRESHER the crab THE BETTER!
We also like the brightness of Asian flavors. They seem to pair gloriously with crab. When we make these, everyone seems to lick their plates clean!
If you’d like something a little more Maryland Crab Cake style, Here’s a link to another recipe that works quite well.
CRAB CAKES with a little Asian zest
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, best quality, such as Hellmann’s
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely diced not-so-ripe pear
3 tablespoons thin-sliced scallion, green ends
1 pound lump crabmeat
1 cup panko
canola oil, for frying
Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the crabmeat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage), ginger, pear, scallion and ½ cup panko. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crabmeat.
Place the second ½ cup panko into a separate, medium-sized mixing bowl. Share the crab mixture into 8 to 10 cakes (each about a handful). After shaping, place each individual cake into the extra panko. Pat to coat in a uniform-ish layer. Place the cakes onto a sheet pan.
Once all the cakes have been formed, place the sheet pan in the refrigerator for half an hour. This will help the cakes to set.
Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium and coat with canola oil. When the oil is hot, place the crab cakes in the pan and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remember, we’re cooking until golden brown — so stay engaged and stay alert. Do not overcrowd the pan. Add more oil as necessary. Use a slotted spatula and tongs to assist in the turn. After frying, return cakes to the sheet pan and place in a warm oven until all cakes are cooked and you are ready to serve.
Serve immediately with Asian tartar sauce and an extra squeeze of lime.
Asian-Inspired Tartar Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise, Hellmann’s
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoon minced scallion, the white part
3 tablespoons cilantro, to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice or zest, to taste
½ tablespoon fish sauce, optional
½ tablespoon red chili flakes or sriracha, to taste
Brown sugar or sweet pickle juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with warm crab cakes, extra lime slices and sriracha!