Crab or lobster? Which crustacean do you prefer? I'm a crab person, without a doubt. Yes, it's more work to eat crabs, but crab meat to me is more flavorful and sweeter. Each summer, when I lived in Delaware, we would get a bushel of Old Bay seasoned Maryland blue crabs and a keg of beer and have a crab eating fest. Hungry Bear is sick and tired of hearing this story every time someone brings up blue crabs, so I'll stop reminiscing now.
Through the years, I've looked for a good crab cake recipe and tried out many of them. I've tried recipes with fillers of white bread, saltines and breadcrumbs. I've tried ones with eggs, mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, Old Bay and many other ingredients. In the end, my favorite recipes were the ones with simple ingredients that didn't overpower the taste of the wonderful crab meat.
After tweaking a recipe my Mom clipped out of a newspaper years ago, I finally have a great crab cake recipe. For the binding agents, I used a few tablespoons of mayonnaise and a little milk. And for the filler, I used panko breadcrumbs, which are lighter and flakier than regular breadcrumbs. I've made the crab cakes with Italian parsley and cilantro. Both are good in the cakes, but I prefer the cilantro. The last touch is a little bit of chili garlic sauce for some spiciness.
The final product is a lovely crab cake with hardly any filler and pure sweet crab flavor. There's not much more to say. I think this picture of crab cake innards speaks for itself.
Spicy Crab Cakes Recipe
SND Note: To prevent the crab cakes from falling apart while cooking, make sure to refrigerate the cakes for at least an hour before frying. For more traditional Maryland crab cakes, replace the cilantro with flat leaf parsley and omit the chili sauce.
1 pound cooked crab meat, remove any shells or cartilage
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
6 green onions, trimmed and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or to taste (optional)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
3 cups mixed greens
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1) In a large bowl, combine crab meat, panko, milk, mayonnaise, cilantro, green onions, salt, pepper and chili sauce. Moisten hands with water and form crab mixture into 8 cakes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2) Lightly coat each cake on both sides with flour. Heat olive oil or butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the crab cakes until crispy and golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve crab cakes on a bed of mixed greens with lemon wedges.
Makes 4 servings
[tags]spicy, crab, cakes, easy, cilantro, panko, breadcrumbs, seafood[/tags]