Dungeness Crab Cakes served with Korean Cucumber Salad & Lemon Aioli
3 tbsp (45 ml) butter, divided
½ cup (125 ml) finely minced onion
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely minced shallot
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely sliced green onion
2 large eggs
¼ cup (60 ml) best quality mayonnaise (suggest Hellman’s)
1 tsp (5 ml) grainy Dijon mustard
¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
½ tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt, plus extra to taste
½ tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper, plus extra to taste
2¼ cups (560 ml) fresh bread crumbs, divided
1 lb (454 g) fresh lump Dungeness crab meat (including some leg meat if possible)
2 tbsp (30 ml) light olive oil, divided
fresh lemon wedges, to serve
1 tsp (5 ml) rice wine vinegar
¼ tsp (1 ml) fish sauce
½ tsp (2.5 ml) dark brown sugar
1 small garlic clove, grated
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lime juice
1 tsp (5 ml) light soy sauce
2 tsp (10 ml) canola oil
1¼ tsp (6 ml) gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes), plus extra for garnish*
2 mini cucumbers, very thinly sliced
½ cup (125 ml) best quality mayonnaise (suggest Hellman’s)
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small sauté pan, melt 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and shallot. Sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add green onion and sauté for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, lemon juice, ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and 1 tsp (5 ml) pepper. Mix in 1 cup (250 ml) bread crumbs. Gently fold in sautéed onion, add crab meat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place remaining 1¼ cups (310 ml) bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Measure out 2 tbsp (30 ml) portions of crab mixture and form into patties, placing on lined baking sheet. One by one, roll each crab cake in bread crumbs, turning once to coat well. Reshape if necessary and place back on lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours, to firm up.
- Meanwhile, to make Korean Cucumber Salad, in a medium bowl, combine vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice, soy sauce, oil and gochugaru, mixing well to dissolve sugar. Add cucumber and toss until well coated with sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make Lemon Aioli, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter and 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil. When sizzling, add half the crab cakes. Cook until crusty and deep golden brown on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip cakes over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan onto a paper towel-lined tray and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe down pan to remove any bread crumbs left behind, then add remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter and 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil and cook second batch of crab cakes.
- Place warm crab cakes onto a serving platter and top each with a cucumber slice, a small dollop of aioli and a sprinkle of gochugaru. Serve remaining cucumber salad and aioli on the side along with lemon wedges.