Louisiana is the home of many excellent things; delicious foods, our good friend Jeff, and the inventor of these exquisite Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Remoulade. Whenever we travel to a coastal area, Paul starts researching regional takes on crab cakes, a particular favorite of his. Our time in New Orleans last year was a definite button busting success of a food vacation, with one exception, Paul did not find the one perfect crab cake. We returned home and proceeded to immerse ourselves (read: obsess) with Cajun and Creole cooking, It was through a Louisiana native chef and cookbook author, Donald Link, that we found this dynamic crab cake recipe. Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Remoulade feature some of the classic Cajun flavors with an incredible punchy hit of flavor. These crab cakes are unique in their minimal use of filler and binding ingredients, making for a very loose cake and which allows the sweetness of the crab to shine. These crab cakes do rely heavily on the quality of your crab meat, so make sure to get the best quality you can find.
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 pound lump crab meat
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1 green onion, thinly chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, we prefer panko (Divided, see step 5)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ancho, cayenne, and salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Pour the onion mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the black pepper.
- Cool briefly, 10 minutes, before proceeding with the recipe.
- To the large bowl with onions, add crab, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, green onion, lemon juice, parsley and mix together briefly, hands are best here as you don't want to overwork the crab mixture.
- Add 1/4 cup bread crumbs to the crab mixture and mix together briefly until incorporated.
- Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, form the crab mixture into cakes and refrigerate or freeze on a plate or baking sheet for at least 30 minutes. Note, you will have a hard time keeping the mixture together since there is such minimal binder, this can be a pain at this stage but directly corresponds to the delicious final product.
- While your crab cakes are cooling, mix together the remoulade ingredients, jalapeno, cilantro, green onions, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, vinegar and lime.
- Once your crab cakes are chilled, heat oil in a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan over high heat.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs to a shallow bowl and carefully dredge the crab cakes in the bread crumbs, remember the cakes are delicate and may have a tendency to fall apart, this is not a problem.
- When the oil is hot, reduce to medium heat and fry the crab cakes in batches, they should cook approximately 4 minutes per side and turn golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan as this will cause the crab cakes to cook at a lower temperature, and absorb more oil as they cook. You can put the finished crab cakes in a warmed oven to sit until you have cooked them all. Add more oil to your pan as necessary to complete the cooking process with all your crab cakes. Serve hot with remoulade sauce on the side for dipping.