Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chinese Crab Cakes

I suffer from extreme indecisiveness, which is one reason why I'm thrilled when the hubby picks up a cookbook and asks me to make a particular recipe. In this case, the hubby pointed to a picture of some Chinese crab cakes in a small cookbook with no apparent author, and said, "These look good."

Very well, then.

Not only was this my first time making crab cakes, but this was my first time cooking with lump crabmeat. This was an adventure for me, because according to the unnamed author of this cookbook, I should attempt to save myself some cash and choose refrigerated, special grade crabmeat for this recipe, which is cheaper than lump crabmeat and already flaked.

Now, crabs aren't exactly indigenous to North Dakota. So ... I don't really have much of a choice. My options were the canned crabmeat or the vacuum-packed, refrigerated, "exclusive" lump crabmeat. With the $1 per pound difference, well, I went for the good stuff. (I had pictured myself returning home with a plastic container full of fresh crabmeat. But Barefoot Contessa, I ain't.)

So in addition to being a recipe that I've never tried, it was quite the spendy endeavor. And did I mention that I don't care for seafood?

Luckily, the crab cakes turned out wonderfully. The hubby loved them. The little man loved them. I deemed my taste to be surprisingly yummy for something that includes seafood ... not overly fishy, and the sesame oil is a standout. Go team!

Chinese Crab Cakes
Makes 4 servings (2 cakes each)

1 lb. fresh or canned pasteurized lump crabmeat
1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. panko bread crumbs, divided
2 eggs
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. Chinese hot mustard
2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1/2 c. sweet and sour sauce, for dipping (optional)

1. Combine crabmeat, 1/2 c. panko, eggs, green onions, sesame oil, ginger, and mustard in large bowl. Mix well, using a fork.

While you're doing this, you might also want to sift through the crabmeat for any shells. Now, my hoity-toity packaging said "virtually shell-free," but that's just not good enough for me.

2. Shape mixture into 8 patties about 1/2" thick. (This is about 1/3 c. of mixture.)

3. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet.

4. Place remaining 1/3 c. or so of panko on a plate. Dip each crab cake lightly in panko to coat.

The cakes were very fragile at this point, but adding the panko to the outside not only makes the finished cakes crispier, but also makes the uncooked cakes easier to handle.

5. Add 4 crab cakes to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. (I had to crank up the heat to medium-high to get them as golden as the hubby wanted them.) Repeat with remaining cakes. Serve warm with sweet and sour sauce, if desired.

1 comment:

Marie said...

A must try chinese crab cakes. thanks for sharing