Light and delicate, these fragrant cakes allow the fresh flavors of the crab and scallops to come through. This recipe was adapted from Holly Peterson, who teaches Food and Wine Dynamics at CIA-Greystone.
- 12 ounce sea scallops
- 12 ounce lump crab meat
- 1 three inch piece of lemongrass
- 2 lemons, zest only
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup chives, minced
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ½ englsih cucumber, pelled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- ¼ cup butter
- cilantro (as garnish)
- mint (as garnish)
For the crab cakes: Remove the tough muscle on the side of the scallops and cut the scallops into¼-inch dice. Combine the scallops and crab meat in a large bowl.
Remove the tough outer layers from the lemongrass, mince about 2 teaspoons of the light colored interior. Place the lemongrass and the lemon zest in the bowl with the scallops and crab, cover the bowl, then refrigerate overnight.
The nest day: Add the Panko, chives and eggs to the bowl with the seafood. Season the mixture with the salt and pepper. Gently mix to incorporate using a folding motion. The best crab cakes are difficult to work with because the mixture should just barely hold together. So don’t over-mix or add more breadcrumbs because the cakes will hold their shape when cooked.
For the dipping sauce: Bring the 1‑cup water to a boil and add the sugar and sea salt, swirling the pan to dissolve. Add the vinegar, chilis, shallot, and cucumber. Stir to mix the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
Form the scallop and crab mixture into 18 cakes that are about 2 to 3 inches in diameter.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil and butter. As soon as butter melts, add the cakes and sauté until just golden and barely cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook, and cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan. Serve 3 cakes per plate along with the spicy cucumber dipping sauce. Garnish each plate with cilantro and mint.