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So last night I felt quite guilty for only feeding Damian summer toasts for dinner and was feeling quite peckish myself, so a quick trip to the supermarket and I had all the ingredients to try a new dish (well a dish I had tried before and failed miserably).

I am the type of person that looks in the fridge and the cupboards and groans that there is nothing to eat. When in fact the kitchen is full of food, just usually a large stock of pasta and baking ingredients and odds and ends. The fridge like I said had nothing in it. Yet on closer inspection, there was an abundance of garlic and ginger and salad ingredients. I am going through a phase of eating a LOT of salad and protein and no pasta and little bread. I looked in my freezer and there staring me in the face was gorgeous white crab meat I had put aside for something special. So I decided to make summer Crab cakes with a dipping sauce. On my previous attempt of this dish, I had totally forgotten to season the crab mix and the little cakes had crumbled upon cooking . The cakes were still very pleasant but nothing special. This time, I made the conscious effort to remember the seasoning and put the uncooked cakes in the fridge for thirty minutes or so to help meld together. They were delicious but in fact the dipping sauce was the star of the show and myself and Damian found ourselves hovering over the bowl of sauce devouring it with spoons.

This recipe can be adapted to suit those (like my sister) who may have an intolerance to citrus by emitting the lime and adding fish sauce or finely diced chillies. And likewise for anyone that doesn’t eat crab this can be replaced with the likes of salmon.

I hope that you find this as tasty and satisfying as we did, and the good news is that the sauce makes more than enough and can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and would make a great marinade for fish or chicken dishes.

I do hope you enjoy!

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SUMMER CRAB CAKES AND DIPPING SAUCE

  • 75g French beans, finely sliced
  • 200g fresh white crabmeat
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • grated zest 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 75g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sunflower oil, for frying

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE

  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 6cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 50ml rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce or lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

THE HOW:

  1. To make the dipping sauce, blend the garlic, chillies, ginger, lime leaves, lemongrass and coriander in a food processor until very finely chopped. Tip the sugar into a small saucepan, add 3 tbsp water and heat gently to dissolve. Continue to cook for another min or so until the syrup starts to thicken slightly.
  2. Add the chilli and ginger mixture, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 mins. Then stir in the rice vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Cook the beans in a small pan of boiling salted water for 1-2 mins until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then leave to dry on kitchen paper. Mix the crab with the cooked beans and all the remaining ingredients, apart from the sunflower oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and shape into 8 small patties (this is where you should put them in the fridge for a little while but if you are super excited and can’t wait, just be very careful when turning them in the pan so not to fall apart).
  4. Heat 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil in a frying pan and cook 4 crab cakes at a time until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you cook the remainder. Serve with the sweet chilli dipping sauce.
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