Friday, December 5, 2008
Thai Crab Cakes - Boo Jah
An auspicious confluence of events led to the making these crab cakes. The most important was the opening of Oregon's commercial crabbing season. That tied in nicely with a Regional Recipes event whose focus this month is Thailand. The event is being hosted by Darlene, at Blazing Hot Wok. This recipe is simple to do and can be ready for the pan in 10 minutes. In Thailand, the crab is combined with pork and then packed into shells which are steamed prior to frying. My preparation is much simpler --- the same crab mixture is formed into patties and quickly sauted. I use frozen, thawed pork in my version of the recipe. I've found it to be more crumbly than its fresh counterpart; that makes for easier mixing and allows the crab to remain in chunks while assuring the pork is evenly distributed for cooking. The crab cakes are mildly flavored so be sure to offer a spicy sauce for serving. I've included one here, but Thai chili sauce or mayonnaise mixed with sriracha sauce will also do nicely. Sa Nook!
Thai Crab Cakes - Boo Jah
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon chopped cilanto stems
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 pound fresh lump crabmeat
1/2 pound frozen ground pork, thawed
1/2 cup panko
1 handful cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Flour for dredging
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1) Combine garlic, cilantro stems and leaves, water, fish sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor or blender jar. Process until nearly smooth.
2) Combine crabmeat, pork, panko, cilantro, egg and garlic-cilantro mixture in a medium bowl and mix gently. Shape into 8 cakes, each about 3-inches in diameter.
3) Put flour on a plate; dredge both sides of crabcakes in flour. Set aside.
4) Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add 4 cakes to oil and saute, turning once, until cakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish as desired and serve with a sauce. Yield: 8 crab cakes.
Spicy Garlic Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce (i.e. Sri Racha) or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1) Place sugar, vinegar, water, garlic and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a thin syrup forms. Remove from heat. Add chili-garlic sauce or pepper flakes and set aside to cool.
2) To store, place in a glass jar and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature prior to serving. Yield: 1 cup.
This recipe is adapted from one created by Nancie McDermott.