Since I’ve started A Healthy Challenge, I’ve been finding ways to up my fish intake so I can get some of those important oils and nutrient everyone keeps telling me about. To help with recipe ideas, I busted out a Mayo Clinic recipe book/ magazine I found a few weeks ago at the store and decided to give the crab cakes a try.
Although the recipe sounded delicious as-is, I decided to consult my 1000 Indian, Chinese, Thai and Asian Recipes Book by Rafi Fernandez for added inspiration. Combining a few fish cake recipes with the original Mayo Clinic crab mix, I somehow – through pure luck – created the most amazing crab cakes you’ll ever have. Ever.
Cooking Time About an hour.
Servings About 6 medium crab cakes
*Note: This is based on an online nutritional calculator (http://dailyburn.com/recipes/best_crab_cakes_ever) and is in no way official or guaranteed to be accurate.
- 1 cup cooked brown basmati rice (1/2 cup uncooked)
- 1/2 small sweet onion, preferable Imperial Sweets, chopped
- 1 tblsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 oz. crab
- zest of one lime
- 1 tblsp fish sauce
- siracha or chili garlic sauce to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, slightly beaten
*Note: As a farmer’s daughter, I highly encourage you to support local farmers and sustainability efforts. Even if it is more expensive now, it pays off in the long run.
Making this vegan or vegetarian would take away a lot of the effect, but you could try it with soy sausage, tofu crumbles or other meat substitutes with similar texture. To hold the patty together without egg, try ground flax seeds mixed with water or egg substitutes. For a gluten-free option, any gluten-free bread crumbs would work, or take gluten-free bread, toast it and then chop it in a food processor to make your own bread crumbs.
Cook the brown basmati rice according to label instructions. While the rice cooks, gather your ingredients and prep all the other food for your meal, as crab cakes are best served immediately and you don’t want to have them cool while you make other food.
[You can see my fancy new Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Deluxe Rice Cooker/Steamer in the background cooking my brown rice for me. I love this thing!]
In a small sauté pan, cook the chopped onion in the sesame oil, using only enough oil as is necessary, and breathe in the glorious aroma of cooked onions. The smell of Imperial Sweet Onions filled my mind with images of the county fairgrounds and the annual Sweet Onion Festival, where I’d spend a whole weekend cooking and eating onions. Not only do I love them because my father grows them, but I love them because they’re hands down the sweetest onions I’ve ever had. They’re only in season for a brief time, but when they’re here they’re amazing.
When you’re done reminiscing about the beauty of sweet onions (or when the onions are translucent), add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Set the pan aside.
Mix the crab with the lime zest, fish sauce, siracha, soy sauce, fresh minced ginger and sesame seeds together in a bowl. Taste and add more seasoning as you desire. It may taste a bit gingery right now, but that’s ok, as the ginger will mild out when you cook it.
[I love the look of a freshly grated lime.]
Add the brown rice and eggs and mix everything well. Form flattened crab patties according to your desired size (I like slightly smaller than my palm) and set them aside. Pour a tablespoon of canola oil into a pan and heat it on medium-high. While that heats, spread the panko breadcrumbs on a plate and dip each patty, forming a thin layer of breadcrumbs over the whole surface. When the oil is ready, add the patties to the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Remove the patties and place them on a paper towel to help soak up the oil.
[Fresh fried goodness.]
Place the patties on a new plate and sprinkle with a sesame/kelp mix, cilantro sprigs, a yogurt mix with mint and basil, homemade tartar sauce, or anything your heart desires. We ate them with a sauce made from rice vinegar, siracha, soy sauce and sesame oil. It was delicious.
[The best crab cakes ever! They were gone in 3 minutes flat.]
These crab cakes work great as an appetizer or a main meal. I planned on serving them with a sesame crusted tofu with broccoli rapini dish, but it was a massive fail, so I put the tofu into spring rolls with napa cabbage, basil, bean sprouts and cellophane noodles instead.
[My spring roll making skills are seriously lacking.]
Adding some steamed gyoza and freshly made from D.E.’s SodaStream Ginger Ale, we had a perfect dinner to welcome D.E. home from China.
[Our fancy dining set-up, ready for a romantic Lost Marathon.]