This time of year is known for the traditional turkey and mashed potato with Brussels sprouts and gravy. However, this time round I wanted to do something a little different and try out some bold, aromatic flavours with a twist for the traditional Christmas meal.
These crab cakes are super easy to make. If you are allergic to crab or other shellfish, you could just as well use salmon or any other fish for that matter. Furthermore, instead of the couscous salad, you could make a barley salad or even a lentil salad. I love peanuts and hence I’ve added them to the mix, but you could substitute with chopped almonds or cashews.
For the crab cakes:
- 300g crabmeat
- 100g fresh coconut
- 100g rice flour
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped finely
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely
- 4 limes, zested, but juice from only 2
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped finely
- 2 medium red onions, chopped finely
- 5 tbsp peanuts, chopped roughly
- 100g dessicated coconut
- 100g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 250mL canola oil
For the couscous salad:
- ½ cup couscous
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup peanuts, chopped roughly
- handful fresh coriander, chopped roughly
- 2 tbsp cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
- lime wedges
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic-ginger paste
- salt to taste
- For the crab cakes, place all the ingredients except for the lemongrass and breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the breadcrumbs and lemongrass to a food processor and blend until fine. Add the breadcrumb mixture to the crab mixture and mix with a fork until combined. Shape into balls and set aside.
- To fry, beat the egg and place in a shallow container. Mix the desiccated coconut and flour together on a plate. Heat the oil in a deep pan and get ready to fry. Place a crab ball into the the coconut-flour mixture, then into the egg and back into the flour mixture and fry until golden brown. This should take around 1.5–2 min on each side. Make sure the heat is on medium.
- Once these are fried, get the couscous salad ready. In a large glass bowl, add all the ingredients except for the water, stir using a fork and keep some cling film nearby. Pour the water into the bowl and cover with cling film for 4–5 min. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing.
- To plate, add a spoonful of the couscous mixture in the middle, place two crab cakes on top and garnish with the peanuts, coriander, cherry tomatoes and a lime wedge.
- Finish with 3 spoons of the dressing. Serve hot.