Tropically-Topped Crab Cakes

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors

Serves 4


Avocado-Mango Topping

  • 1 mango
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) simple syrup 
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup (35 g) pine nuts, toasted
  • Sriracha sauce (optional, to taste)

Crab Cakes

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (13 g) leek (the white part only), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 pound ( 455 g) crab meat, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon (11 g) Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup (60 g) bread crumbs (panko preferably), divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup (60 g) aioli or mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter

Tropically-Topped Crab Cakes

Tropically-Topped Crab Cakes

Click image to enlarge



To prepare avocado-mango topping: Dice the mango into a 1-inch (2.5 cm) dice, reserving the scraps or slivers. Place these scraps (should be around ¼ cup [ 40 g]) into a blender. Add the garlic, shal­lot, cilantro, mint, lime juice, vinegar, and simple syrup. Blend until smooth. This is your binder for the topping.

In a large bowl, combine diced mango, avocado, tomato, pine nuts, and Sriracha (if using). Add the mango puree and stir to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate until using, up to 2 hours before serving.

To prepare crab cakes: Sauté shallot, garlic, and leek in olive oil until tender. In a large bowl, add sautéed vegetables to crabmeat, lemon juice, mustard, ¼ cup (30 g) bread crumbs, beaten egg, and aioli.

Mix together and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, form mixture into small cakes. Coat with remaining bread crumbs.

Heat butter over medium heat in a skillet. Cook crab cakes until golden brown and warm on the inside. Don't be tempted to raise the heat or you may have a nice golden sear on the outside but cold crab on the inside. Top with avocado-mango salad and serve immediately.


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