I know what you’re thinking – ‘I don’t like fish, and I definitely don’t like shellfish.’ But if
you are thinking that (apologies if you’re a fellow seafood-lover – just bear
with me), then I really, really beg you to give this a go because it might just
change your mind. Crab has a wonderfully delicate flavour, barely fishy at all,
and when (as in this recipe) it’s mixed with crème fraiche, zingy chives, and
sweet chilli sauce, and fried in breadcrumbs until it’s golden and crispy,
well. Fabulous doesn’t begin to describe it.
1 tin of white crabmeat (usually they’re about 170g)
A small handful of fresh chives
A couple of tablespoons of crème fraiche (plus more to
A teaspoon of Dijon mustard
A good dollop of sweet chilli sauce (I like Encona)
5-6 slices of stale white bread
Fresh rocket and oven chips, to serve
If you can make this a hour or so in advance and pop the
crab mixture in the fridge for a while to stiffen up, that’ll really help you
shape the crab cakes, so try and build in some extra time. First of all, chop
the celery and the chives as finely as you can. Next, rinse the crab meat in a
sieve and then mix it with all of the ingredients above, apart from the slices
of bread. Make your breadcrumbs, either in a little blender (like this
Cuisinart one) or by scrunching them up by hand, and then mix about a third of
them into the rest of the ingredients. Season well and give it a really good
stir to make sure it’s all smoothly combined, and then put it in the fridge for
about half an hour.
When you’re ready, put the oven on to heat up (for the
chips), and pop them in. Put a frying pan on a medium-high heat with a generous
splash of olive oil, and let it warm up.
Pour your breadcrumbs onto a big plate and spread them out.
Using a dessertspoon, scoop out balls of crab mixture about the size of a Satsuma,
and with your hands, gently roll them in the breadcrumbs, shaping them into
even blobs. Pop each one into the frying pan as you go – by now it should be
hot enough to sizzle when they go in. With a spatula, flatten each one down
While the underside of the crabcakes sizzles, scoop a couple
more tablespoons of crème fraiche into a little bowl and add a generous drizzle
of sweet chilli sauce, to taste, then stir well, to create a scrummy dip that’s
deliciously creamy with a bit of a kick.
Using the spatula, carefully turn the crabcakes over (make
sure you don’t split them open – they should be reasonably robust though). At
this point, you might want to move your chips from oven to grill, to crisp them
up. Remember that the second side of the crabcakes will take far less time to
cook, so keep an eye on them!
Once they’re ready, the chips should be done too. Lay the
crabcakes on top of a generous handful of fresh rocket, top with a drizzle of
spicy dip and put the chips on the side – scrumptious.