I’ve been doing a lot of posts about the number three… three ways to make grilled cheese, three marinades for shrimp skewers… I really like the number three. Today we’re getting back to a nice straight forward recipe. But guess what? There are three components! Today it’s crab cakes with mango apple salsa and a spicy remoulade sauce.
I’ve shared before that a big factor in my recipe posts is what I find on sale at the store. There’s nothing wrong with trying to save a little money! This week I found lump crab meat. I was psyched. I’ve been dying to take a stab at making crab cakes.
Yup, that’s right. I have never made crab cakes before. I’ve eaten them a lot, I’ve seen them made, I’ve skimmed some recipes… Basically, I knew how to make them, I just never did it. But I know what I like, and I cook what I like, and guess what? So I just kind of winged it, and it actually turned out pretty darn good.
Let’s start with the salsa and sauce first, because you can make these ahead of time.
- 1 cup finely diced mango
- 1 cup finely diced apple*
- 1 scallion, minced
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- pinch of sea salt
- Combine mango, apple and scallion in a bowl. Add lime zest, lime juice and salt, tossing until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
*Use whatever kind of apple you want! I went with Fuji. Red apples in general tend to be sweeter, while green apples lean more towards tart, so pick whatever appeals to you.
- 3/4 cup mayonaisse
- 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp prepared horseradish
- 1 Tbsp pickled jalapeños, finely diced
- 2 tsp pickling liquid
- 1 tsp cayenne
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth and well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Well, those parts were easy, huh? And I know, more mayo. I declared I hate mayo in my last post, but the disclaimer is I hate it on it’s own, just spread onto things. When I started cooking I realized how many sauces and dishes secretly had mayonaisse buried within them. I had been consuming it without even knowing. But if I find a big glob of the stuff on my sandwich, it’s going back. (I’m looking at you, Wendy’s.)
If you don’t want the sauce to be spicy, you can substitute the jalapeños with regular pickles. Or use a fresh jalapeño and regular pickle juice. I know I’m kind of a weirdo and not everyone has a jar of homemade picked peppers always on hand.
Onto the main event!
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp mayonaisse
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
- 8 oz lump crab meat
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped Hawaiian roll (about one roll)
- 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup canola oil for cooking
- In a bowl, whisk together egg, mayo, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper, garlic, parsley and green onions. Gently stir in crab meat until combined. Add the bread and panko, slowly folding it in, until evenly distributed.
- Using your hands, form 4 patties (about the size of your palm). Try to keep them as uniform as possible. Sprinkle each pattie with a little salt and pepper. Place on a plate or pan lined with parchment paper, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil over medium-low heat in a skillet. Cook patties in the skillet, about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, cook 1 or 2 at a time if you need to. Transfer to baking sheet or pan, and let them warm through in the oven for 3 minutes.
- Serve the crab cakes over the remoulade sauce with mango apple salsa on top, with an optional side of micro greens and a slice of lemon.
Crab cakes can kind of seem intimidating to make, but trust me, it’s pretty easy. Taking the time to make the homemade salsa and sauce also gives this dish a wow factor. I love when there’s a lot of different texture a flavors on a plate. The sweet, cool fruit is perfect top of the warm, soft crab cake. Then that little kick from the spicy remoulade just rounds it all out. It’s got a little bit of everything all in one bite.
I’m also going to pat myself on the back, because I think this is one of the prettiest plates of food I think I’ve ever made.
You can make the salsa and sauce the night before, the morning of, or even during that hour when the crab cakes are setting in the fridge. It’s definitely not as time consuming as you would think. All three parts to this recipe are essentially dumping everything in a bowl and stirring it up, and the actual cook time for the crab cakes is about 10 minutes.
A lot of crab cake recipes use butter crackers or plain bread crumbs. I like the idea of fresh bread to really soak up the flavor, and using Hawaiian rolls adds that buttery element. You could certainly use white bread or whatever you gave in the pantry. The addition of the panko bread crumbs was for that crispy texture the crackers would have provided.
These are great for an appetizer, but honestly, two of these guys were a pretty satisfying dinner for me. You could even skip the micro greens and do a heftier simple side salad to really give it the look of an entree.
The best part of this recipe for me? I have another container of crab meat still in my fridge. I have a feeling these crab cakes will be showing up again very soon on my dinner table. Let me know if you try this recipe out- tag me on Instagram or Twitter if you get a photo, or tell me about in the comments!