I was recently given the opportunity from our friends at Aqua Best to work with some fresh crab, and decided it had to be crab cakes. The crab cake, as well as numerous other minced meat and seafood preparations, date all the way back to colonial times. Whether the crab cake stuck around through the 21st century because of its simple yet elegant presence or because of its satisfying and full flavored profile is irrelevant. Its popularity is unmatched and with good reason.
Aqua Best originally started out as a mom and pop store located in downtown New York City, just blocks away from the original Fulton Fish Market. In the olden days, good seafood was readily available in the market but the secret to obtaining great seafood was to directly deal with the fishermen. In the 1980’s Aqua Best traveled as far north as Maine and as down south as Virginia in order to find the best source of seafood. Their underlying strategy was to secure the highest quality seafood in order to give their company a competitive edge. They also discovered that by acquiring the freshest seafood from the local fishermans, they were also receiving better pricing on the seafood.
During the beginning stages of their company, seafood lovers were only well acquainted with Maine lobster and Maryland blue crab. Throughout the past few decades they have come to realize that seafood has different seasons in a year just as we do. Due to their longevity in the business, they have become experts in knowing which types of seafood flourish during specific months and areas of the ocean. Their expertise is definitely what makes the difference between good seafood and magnificent seafood.
Snow Crab Cakes
This version of the crab cake offers spice, savory freshness from the herbs, and great texture all while allowing the full flavor of the crab to come through. I paired it in a Shrimp Bisque (because I had shrimp shells), okra and chorizo, but feel free to play around with your own favorites whether it be a tomato gazpacho or served by itself.
- 1 pound snow crabmeat, picked and free of shells
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp creole mustard
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion, red pepper
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg
- 2 stalks mint, basil and cilantro (picked and finely chopped)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- oil for cooking
Sauté the finely chopped onion and pepper on med heat in an oven-safe skillet (usually 3 to 4 mins). You are looking for the onion to turn translucent.
Remove from heat, toss in chopped herbs and allow herbs to steep as mix cools down.
In a separate mixing bowl add remainder of ingredients and mix.
When the pepper/onion mix is cool incorporate into mix as well.
At this point you need to determine if the consistency is firm enough to form the cakes (you are looking for the mix to become one cohesive mass). If mix is too loose and doesn’t clump together, you may need to add extra bread crumbs. Start, one handful at a time, until the mix becomes one cohesive mass.
Portion into desired size. A 4 oz scoop will yield 6 portions but you can choose to make any size you like.
Once portioned, coat each cake with panko.
Heat pan and add oil 1 tsp canola oil.
Wait for oil to shimmer and place cakes in pan.Sear in pan until golden brown.
Flip cakes and place directly in oven.
Bake in oven at 325F for 12 to 14 mins.
Serves 4 to 6.
Again thank you to Aqua Best for helping to make this recipe possible. As always, the crab arrived fresh, live, well chilled, and in a timely manner. Find out more at Aqua Best NYC.
LIFE’S SHORT! EAT WELL