These Southeast Asian-inspired crab cakes make such a good impression, and I love that I can make them ahead with just a little last-minute cooking. I like to serve them with a
simple salad of avocado, red onion, and butter lettuce, tossed with lime juice and olive oil.
PREP TIME: 45 minutes
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
MAKE- AHEAD: The chutney can be made up to 1 week ahead. The crab cakes
can be made through step 3 up to 8 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.
½ cup sugar
1 mango, pitted, peeled, and cut into 5mm dice
¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 to 2 teaspoons seeded and finely chopped medium red chilli
½ teaspoon sea salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
¼ cup finely chopped spring onions, white and green parts
500g crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells, well drained
1½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
6 tablespoons canola oil
60g unsalted butter
½ Lebanese cucumber, sliced into thin rounds, and then into matchstick- size strips
Fresh coriander sprigs, for garnish
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel to granish
1. To make the chutney: Heat a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cook without stirring, tilting the pan as needed so that the sugar cooks evenly, for about 5 minutes, or until it melts into an amber caramel. Do not stir or the caramel will crystallize. Remove from the heat and stir in the mango (the caramel will seize), then the rice vinegar and lime juice. Return to medium heat and stir constantly for about 5 minutes, or until the mango is translucent and the caramel is dissolved and syrupy.Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Season with salt.
2. To prepare the crab cakes: In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, egg, fish
sauce, ginger, coriander, sesame oil, chilli, salt, and lime zest together, then
whisk in the spring onions. Add the crabmeat and stir to coat, coarsely
breaking apart the crabmeat, leaving small whole chunks in the mixture.
Fold in the panko. Cover and refrigerate the crab mixture for 30 minutes so
that the mixture is easier to form.
3. Using about 1/3 cup of the crab mixture for each cake, shape into twelve 2cm-thick crab cakes and place on a baking tray.
4. To cook the crab cakes: Preheat the oven to 95°C/75°C fan-forced. Line a
baking tray with paper towels. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over mediumhigh
heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the canola oil and 2 tablespoons of the
butter and heat until hot but not smoking. Working in two batches, fry 6 crab
cakes for about 2 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden, adjusting
the heat as needed to brown evenly without scorching. Transfer to the baking
tray and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with paper towels and
repeat with the remaining canola oil, butter, and 6 crab cakes.
5. To serve, place 2 crab cakes on each of six plates. Spoon some of the mango
chutney over and alongside the crab cakes. Top each with the cucumber and garnish with the coriander sprigs and sea salt.
Published by Ebury, $39.95. Available now from bookstores and online.
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