Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chunky Crab Cakes

Back in the day when Matthew was stationed on the USNS Arctic in New Jersey, I would make frequent trips from San Diego to visit him. The flight I took always had a layover in Atlanta before going onto Newark. I looked forward to arriving into the Atlanta airport because that was the only place that I was able to go to a pretty good restaurant with pretty good crab cakes: Phillips Seafood. And I always ordered the same order of crab cakes with the hush puppies and an iced tea. I know that there are probably better places in Maryland or Baltimore with incredible crab cakes, but the Phillips Seafood restaurant in ATL is the closes I've gotten to authentic style crab cakes. 

I have tried making crab cakes before but either there was too much of a mayonnaise flavor or too much of a fishy flavor because I wasn't using fresh crab meat. So after doing some experiments I've found that this recipe (which came by way of is probably my favorite. I did slightly alter it and I like to fry my crab cakes in ghee. I also I really like to serve them over a simple salad a little bit of a chipotle aioli on the side with them (I have to have a little bit of mayo somewhere, right?)

INGREDIENTS (makes 6 cakes)

  • 1 lb. fresh lump crab meat, drained
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
In a large bowl, combine the egg, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, dill weed, salt and black pepper and mix well. Mix in 1/4 cup of the panko breadcrumbs, saving the remainder of the crumbs on a plate for coating the crab cakes. Add in the crab meat, and gently mix it in using a fork or spatula -- or better yet, your hands, coating the lumps with the mixture. Be careful not to pulverize the lumps when mixing - the idea is to keep the mixture chunky.

Place the mixing bowl with crab cake mixture in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to firm it up. After refrigeration, drain off any excess liquid.

Gently press mixture into thick patties (slightly smaller than hamburgers) and lightly coat them using the remaining panko breadcrumbs. Don't compact the cakes; keep them a bit loose. Use just enough pressure to make the mixture hold together. Fry the cakes in butter or ghee at low to medium-low heat in an uncovered fry pan or griddle, turning when the first side is brown, about 5 minutes per side.

Serve immediately with slices of lemon, chipotle aioli or good tartar sauce. Mmmm..

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