So I love crab cakes. They were just about the only seafood I could stomach, growing up in West Texas so far from the sea. Needless to say, the seafood we got out there wasn’t very fresh. Exceptional crab cakes can be made with canned crab meat, and now they have the new vacuum-sealed packages of crab meat that’s actually really close to cracking and eating the stuff right from the crab.
But let’s be honest…a pound of quality crab meat is PRICEY. And the fact that you’re going to toss it together with a bunch of veggies and powerful flavors…it almost makes you wanna cheat and use “krab,” right? I’m not gonna tell anyone. Imitation crab meat is made from fish protein. It’s not artificial or synthetic. And, to be honest, I’ve gotten more rave reviews when I’ve made this recipe with krab rather than crab. Probably because krab comes in big chunky pieces, and crab (even lump crab) tends to shred easily when mixing. So don’t let the price of crab keep you from making crab cakes!
These crab cakes are hot and spicy, the way I like my food, but at the same time, they’re rich with goat cheese, which helps cut the heat. I like to serve these with a sweet-chili sauce that you can usually find in the Asian section in most good grocery stores. Yum…
1/2 cup goat cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely diced (You can substitute half a Poblano pepper for a whole jalapeno. It’s a sweeter pepper with less heat.)
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons Tony Cachere’s or other cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
10 turns of freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder (You can substitute 1 teaspoon of prepared mustard…I like horseradish mustard, myself.)
Combine all these in a big bowl and it’s honestly easier to just squeeze it around with your hands until it’s perfectly combined. Then add:
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 pound of crab meat (if using real crab, pick through the pieces to make sure there are no bits of shell or cartilage)
Gently fold in the bread crumbs and crab meat until well-mixed. If the mixture is too wet, add some more bread crumbs. If it’s too dry to stick together, add another egg white.
1 cup bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon parmigiano cheese (There’s no difference between “parmesan” and “parmigiano” cheese. The second spelling is Italian. The first is “Americanized.”)
1 teaspoon Tony Cachere’s or other cajun seasoning
Toss together. To form the cakes, I use a large ice cream scoop with a lever that scrapes out whatever is inside the scoop. I scoop up the filling, dump it into the bread crumbs, then I heap bread crumbs on top of the mound of filling. Then I press down gently. The crumbs keep the filling from sticking to your fingers. Once the cake is flattened, scoop it up in your hand and press it firmly to compact it, then gently dust off the excess crumbs. Set aside and repeat.
To cook, you have two options:
Saute: Pour a half inch of canola oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, saute the crab cakes for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, then drain on paper towels.
Oven fry: Preheat a foil-lined baking pan at 400F. When the pan is hot, remove it from the oven, add a few Tablespoons of canola oil and shake it around to evenly distribute it. Then set the cakes into the hot pan and put it back in the oven. Bake 8 minutes on each side, then drain on paper towels.