Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- 1 lb crabmeat or flaked fish
- 3 T. corn starch
- 1 T. Asian fish sauce
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1-2 T. Thai curry paste, depending on how spicy you want it
- 1-2 finely chopped small hot chiles (optional)
- 2-3 finely chopped shallots
- Peanut or other vegetable oil for frying
Put the crab or fish into a food processor and buzz it for 10-15 seconds to get it broken up well. Add the egg, corn starch, fish sauce, cilantro and curry paste and buzz again until it's pretty smooth, about 20 seconds.
Dump the mixture into a bowl, then add the shallots and the chiles if you are using them. Leaving them out of the food processor creates an interesting difference in texture. Mix everything well.
Form the mix into cakes -- I use an ice cream scoop for this -- and set on a tray covered in wax paper. When you're done, chill the cakes in the fridge for an hour. This firms them up.
When you are ready to cook, heat about 4 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan (I use a non-stick pan for this) until a drop of water sizzles when dripped into the oil. Add the crab cakes gently, and do not crowd them.
Fry in batches over medium heat -- take your time here, because cooking too fast will burn the outside and leave the centers uncooked. This is not good eats.
Serve hot or at room temperature with your favorite dipping sauce, or even just mustard. Look up the Vietnamese fried smelt recipe below for a great Asian dipping sauce recipe.