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Spicy Crab Cakes with Walnut Crust

From: Walnut Marketing Board

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Serves 8

 

This recipe first appeared in a 2005 Walnut Marketing Board brochure titled, "Sensational Walnut Recipes from Celebrated Market Chefs." The recipes were created by chefs who work at independent markets in Northern California.

Warm Asian flavors like garlic chili paste and soy sauce meld with sweet, succulent crab to create a wildly flavorful appetizer. A crunchy crust of finely chopped walnuts and Japanese style bread crumbs provides a contrasting texture to these light cakes. Lemon wedges and tartar sauce tone down the spiciness for those who prefer less heat.

Ingredients

  • WALNUT COATING

  • 1 ½ cups Japanese style panko bread crumbs

  • ½ cup finely chopped California walnuts

  • CRAB CAKE

  • 1 pound fresh crab meat, or 4 6-oz. cans of crab

  • ½ cup finely chopped California walnuts

  • 2 cups Japanese style panko bread crumbs

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Asian garlic chili sauce or chili paste

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • ACCOMPANIMENTS

  • Lemon wedges

  • Tartar sauce

  • Directions

    1. To make coating, stir panko and walnuts together in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Set aside. If you are using fresh crab meat, remove any stray pieces of shell or cartilage. If you are using canned crab, drain it thoroughly in a large strainer, gently pressing out excess liquid.
    2. To make crab cakes, in a large bowl combine crab with walnuts, panko, eggs, bell pepper, mayonnaise, chili sauce or paste, sesame oil, soay sauce, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper. Stir and toss ingredients with a fork until evenly combined. TIP: Crab cakes will be easier to form if at this point you cover the bowl and refrigerate mixture for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, if you wish.
    3. Cover a large platter or baking sheet with waxed paper, and place dish with walnut coating next to it. Scoop up cup measures of crab mixture and, between the palms of your hands, pat and shape the mixture into cakes about 2 to 3-inches across and about ¾-inch thick.
    4. As cakes are formed, very gently press top and bottom of each one with coating, leaving perimeter of cake exposed. Set formed cakes aside on waxed paper.
    5. When all cakes are formed, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add as many cakes as will fit in one layer, and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden. Add more oil to pan if necessary, and cook remaining cakes the same way.
    6. Serve crab cakes as soon as possible, accompanied by lemon wedges and tartar sauce if you wish. YIELD: 16 cakes, 8 servings (2 cakes per person)

    Chef Roxanne O'Brien, Taylor's Market, Sacramento, CA


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