By David Blackmon
So where can you get the best crab cakes? Ask one hundred people and you will likely get on hundred different answers. Some swear by classic Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, some by the spicy Creole version and there are others that feel the Asian inspired crab cakes from the Pacific Northwest can’t be beat. Now, I been all over this country and I had them all; so all I can say is I love crab cakes!!! Here are two of my favorites that I do often for my clients. Enjoy.
Classic Crab Cakes
Anytime I am in Baltimore, I can be found dining in the Inner Harbor area every night. This is where this recipe is inspired from.
4 pounds crabmeat, preferably Phillips brand lump
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 cup saltine crackers, crushed
1 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, lemon zest, Old Bay Seasoning, chopped basil, crushed crackers and mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly. Then add crabmeat and gently fold
Form 5 ounce patties out of the crab mixture (should make about 16 patties), and chill until cold before cooking.
In a skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Sauté the crab cakes for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Coconut-Crusted Crab Cakes
These easy to make cakes feature the harmonious flavors of fresh ginger, coconut and crab!! You can find unsweetened shredded coconut in the bulk section of some supermarkets and in natural food stores. Do not use the sweetened coconut found in the baking aisle.
1 pound crabmeat drained and picked clean of shells.
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 1 cup for dredging
½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus 1cup for dredging
6 tablespoons peanut oil
Sweet Chile sauce, store bought
4 lime wedges
Put the crabmeat in a large bowl and add mayonnaise, scallions, bell pepper, ginger, salt and pepper. With a rubber spatula, gently combine by folding. Add the ½ cup of each coconut and panko and gently fold in. Divide the mixture into 8 mounds and form into patties about 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Put the patties on a large, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.
When you are ready to fry the crab cakes, combine the remaining 1 cup coconut and 1 cup panko in a shallow container. Lightly dredge the patties in the crumbs, shaking off any excess. Put 2 large non stick skillets over medium-high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons of oil to each pan. When the pans are hot, place 4 patties in each pan. Turn the heat down to medium and fry the cakes until golden and heated through, turning once with a spatula to brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. The internal temperature of a crab cake should read 155 degrees with your instant read thermometer.
Transfer the crab cakes to plates, accompanied by ramekins of sweet Chile sauce and lime wedges.
Image from FoodNetwork.com