Recipes kindly sponsored by Flahavan’s
I was going to start with a grandiloquent claim that I’ve been struggling with crab cakes for years, but fear I may be misunderstood. I have hated many a restaurant crab cake for its massive payload of mashed potato or ungodly amount of bread crumbs. Experimenting at home, I have seen carefully crafted crab cakes dematerialise on the pan and coagulate into a sticky residue flecked with the red of chilli and the green of coriander.
Frankly, it became a bit depressing. And so I grew determined to crack the mystery of the perfect crab cake and, although I say so myself, I think I’ve done it. I have created a recipe for crab cakes that satisfy my cranky requirements – including a recent one that originates in my embrace of the LCHF principles of eating (viz. avoiding refined carbohydrates as much as possible).
This last requirement meant no mashed spud, not even a homeopathic quantity, nor bread crumbs and not even a suspicion of flour. The object was to create
(i) a perfectly delicious and cohesive crab cake,
(ii) a carbohydrate-free crab cake and
(iii) one that tasted of what we Westerners blithely refer to as “Thai flavours”.
And this is what I came up with…
CRAB CAKES WITH THAI SPICES
350g crab meat (I got mine in Caviston’s)
250g haddock fillets, skin removed (from Aldi)
1 egg white
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 stalks of lemongrass, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 dsp nam pla, fish sauce
olive oil for frying
Place the crabmeat in a food processor along with the de-skinned haddock fillets and whizz until you have a mixture more or less the consistency of sausage meat. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, transfer to a bowl, cover and put in the fridge.
You need to rest the mixture for a few hours, ideally overnight, for the flavours to develop. When you are ready to cook, remove from the fridge and heat some olive oil in a heavy pan.
Take about a tablespoon of the mixture for each cake and place on the pan. As it starts to cook, squash each dollop of mixture gently with a fish-slice until they look the right size and shape.
Cook on both sides until golden brown and slightly crisp. Serve with lime wedges and salad.
Instead of cooked crab meat you can, of course, use raw tiger prawns in the same proportion. However, these tend not to become crisp on the outside so, if this is what you want, just dust each prawn cake with a little plain flour (or coconut flour if you’re being a LCHF purist).