Since I used 1/2 lb. of a 1lb. can of lump crab meat in the #4 Great Missed Dish of 2009, Crab Tomato & Butter Spaghetti Rigati, the other half needed just as much attention for a different culinary point of view. This dish all started while watching Mark Bittman's video on NYTimes.com for Crisp Nori Chips. I recently came into some Nori from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program with AsianFoodGrocer.com and this application looked fun and delicious. So, I set my mind to making the crispy nori as St. Bittman prescribed ,but my plate needed a meaty focal point using the leftover crab meat and staying with the Asian flavor theme. My Asian cooking skills are green at best, so I wanted to ride the line between East and West for a successful dish.What better way to fill up the meat quotient of a dish and bring the East and West together in food than with crab cakes?
Everybody loves crab cakes except people allergic to shellfish, of which there are none in my house hold. Hurrah! Anyway, I am a big fan of ChiliCheeseFries.net and when I read the recipe for Creole Crab Cakes with Cayenne Cream I was inspired to adapt this creole-flavored dish to a spicy Japanese flavor profile. Ok, I'll come clean. On a vacation to the Gulf of Mexico the Triolo family and I were out doing a little shopping when we came across The Spice & Tea Exchange at John's Pass Village in Madiera Beach. Naturally we went in and I went home to my delight with their Spicy Sampler. The sampler was composed of three house spice blends guaranteed to perk up your dishes! One of the three blends was the Togarashi Pepper, "Renowned Japanese pepper blend. A very flavorful, but very hot seasoning. Use as a zesty substitute for cayenne pepper." All of these thoughts, ingredients, and inspirations came together 2009's Great Missed Dish #5 Spicy Asian Crab Cakes with Crispy Nori.
I used the ChiliCheeseFries.net recipe as my template and went bananas with adaptations. Here is the recipe outcome to the best of my recollection:
For the crab cakes:
- 1/2lb. lump crab meat
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped flat parsley
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs + 1-2 tblsp as needed to form cakes
- 1 cup vegetable oil + 2 tblsp.
- 3 oz. sour cream
- 2 tblsp. Togarashi Pepper Spice Blend
- 2 teaspoons Sirarchi
- 2 teaspoons Fish Sauce
For the cream:
- 1 tblsp. butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Togarashi Pepper Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2-3 tblsp. Sirarchi
For the Crispy Nori Chips: see Mark Bittman's video.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat up the 1/2 cup of the vegetable oil. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove veg with a slotted spoon and let cool.
- In a food processor, add the egg, sour cream, fish sauce, Sirarchi, 1 tblsp. of Togarashi Pepper. Mix on low while adding the 2 tblsp. of vegetable oil in a slow stream to make a mayonnaise mixture.
- In a large bowl, mix the vegetables, mayo mixture, bread crumbs, and
- the last tblsp. of Togarashi Pepper. Fold in the crab meat and parsley. Form into patties, should yield 4-6.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet you cooked the vegetables in over medium-high heat. Cook patties until browned on each side, about 5 minutes. Take off heat and transfer to a paper-toweled plate.
- For the cream, heat butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the chives, Sirarchi, and Togarashi Pepper. Cook over medium heat to reduce by 1/2. Add the cream, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and reduce again by half.
- Serve with rice of course, and without the cream. :)