If there is one recipe that I have been asked for over and over again in the last six months it has to be this. Crab cakes are very close to my heart and I have for years endeavoured to come up with a recipe that leaves the crab as ‘king’ so to speak. In my experience, as soon as one starts mixing anything with the delicate flesh, sadly the crab always seems to pale into insignificance. Tragic, given how expensive good crab can be. One pot – a rather miserly 250gms of fresh picked (unpasteurized) white crab meat from our fine shores, costs around £8 – £9 in London. Not cheap, I agree, but worth every penny when you make it into crab cakes!
The ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ have been gripped by crabs for sometime. Nostalgic, happy days spent on the Isle of Wight with lines dangling down into the unknown has only fueled their appetite for the sport and indeed the food that is intrinsically connected with this foraging frolic (at least in their minds it is – never let the truth get in the way of a good story, they don’t need to know that wee Bembridge crabs cannot be eaten). Even Mr.P has fond memories of ‘crabbing’ and nanny magically transforming the wee pincer clad crustaceans into crab paste on toast for high tea! I haven’t gone that far but both pink and blue have a somewhat enthusiastic appetite for trying the unknown. Squid and prawns have become a luxury for high days and holidays and are adored by both and said crab has had a lot of attention recently. I haven’t actually given it to them in any quantity as selfishly it’s a pretty expensive taste to develop at 3 and 5, they have had the odd morsel, but to date the crab cakes are for adults only. I don’t think I’ll get away with it for much longer! There’s not much not to like about these crab cakes, simply bound together with mayonnaise, a handful of coriander, some finely diced red chilli and rolled in panko and polenta crumbs they are as light as can be and taste simply and importantly of crab!
Use fresh white, unpasteurized, hand-picked crab meat. I buy mine from ‘The Chelsea Fishmonger’ on Chelsea Green, 250gms costs £9.95. You can order on 02075899432.
250gms white crab meat
1 red chilli finely diced
4 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
mayonnaise to bind – about 2 to 3 tablespoons
100 gm Panko and polenta breadcrumb mix
1. Mix the white crab meat with the coriander and chilli and bind together with the mayonnaise and a good grind of black pepper.
2. Shape into 4 crab cakes and gently place in the breadcrumb and polenta mix making sure all the sides of the cake are covered. Place in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes.
3. Place a splash of grapeseed oil or other non flavoured oil in a frying pan and gently cook on both sides till golden and heated completely through. Eat immediately with oriental slaw and a homemade sweet chilli jam.
250gms makes 4 adult size crab cakes. These crab cakes cannot be frozen and should be eaten on the day of making.