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« My L.A. | Main | Pantry Clean-Up: What to do with Garam Masala »

Asian Style Crab Cakes

By Lori Powell

For the New Year I am striving to eat less meat and increase my portion of vegetables and other lean proteins, such as fish.

So when I was developing a recipe with crab meat for Prevention magazine (I am the Food Director), and I had 8 ounces left over, I thought crab cakes would be a delicious way to use the remainder.

I used what I had on hand in my pantry to create the following Asian Style Crab Cakes with watercress and pickled beets…such as panko, eggs, scallions, fresh lime, watercress, mayo, pickled ginger and beets, and a touch of seasoned rice wine vinegar.

I never order crab cakes out since they are usually made with a lot of filler, such as breadcrumbs, and never enough crabmeat. I want to see the chunks of crabmeat in my cake and so they are one of those dishes that I love to make at home. Plus they are super easy and cook quickly.

Yes, it’s a bit of a luxury since crabmeat is not cheap but you can switch out the crab in this recipe and use leftover fresh cooked salmon or canned salmon. Just adjust the seasonings before you stir in the egg. Also add any leftover fresh herbs. Some that pair well are tarragon, basil or chives.

Crab cakes are versatile since you can make them tiny for hors d’oeuvres or as full-size patties, they can stand alone or can sit on a bun. I prefer a toasted soft sesame seed bun which you can top with tartar sauce, horseradish or wasabi sauce, a dollop of yogurt, or adorn them simply with some pickled ginger or slaw.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Asian Style Crab Cakes
Serves 2

½ pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for small bits of shell but keeping lumps of crab intact
5 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
3 tablespoons chopped scallions, green part only
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons dark sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
Accompaniments (see below)

Gently stir together first seven ingredients, being careful not to break up crab meat too much, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in egg and form into 6 even patties or flat disks about 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over moderate heat and cook crab cakes, until golden brown on bottom and with a spatula turn over until golden brown on underside and heated through, for 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve crab cakes with accompaniments.

  • Pickled beets, chopped
  • Sliced pickled ginger
  • Lime wedges
  • Upland cress or regular watercress, baby arugula or torn Boston lettuce


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  3. Spare Ribs, Asian Style
  4. It’s Easy Being Green
  5. A Ghost in My House

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