Is it just me or can crab cakes be kind of…boring? I mean, sure when the crab is superior quality, you don’t need much seasoning to make it excellent. However, sometimes I want a little jazz to my crabcakes. So, today I’m going the Asian route and making sesame crusted crab cakes with yuzu chili sauce. I’ve made sesame crusted tuna a number of times so why not apply the same idea to crabcakes? Paired with a yuzu chili sauce, these crabcakes have just the amount of seasoning with a subtle hint of Asian flavors.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Whenever you make crabcakes, you want to take out the big bucks and buy the lump meat. Sure the claw meat is half the price but since the crab is the main ingredient, you really want it to be top-notch. Trust me, the type of crab meat makes a huge difference.
To season the crab, gently mix it with panko, kewpie, scallions, Chinese hot mustard, sesame oil, ginger, lemon juice, egg, and salt and pepper. Kewpie is a Japanese mayo that is slightly sweet. If you can’t find kewpie, just add a touch of sugar and 1 tsp of rice vinegar to the crab. If you can’t locate Chinese hot mustard, substitute with an equal amount of dijon mustard.
The crab cakes are delicate so form them into patties, coat them in sesame seeds and chill the cakes for at least 30 minutes. You can also make the crabcakes the night before.
I find the easiest way to cook these crab cakes is by sticking them in the oven. Again, since they are delicate, they can break apart if you cook them in a saute pan. I’m all about making life easy for myself so in the oven they go.
While the crabcakes are cooking, make the yuzu chili sauce. Yuzu is a type of citrus that tastes like lemon, lime, and grapefruit all combined into one. Fresh yuzu is almost impossible to find in the States but nowadays you can find bottled yuzu juice at Asian markets. You can also swap out the yuzu for fresh lemon juice.
Serve the sesame crusted crab cakes with lemon wedges and garnish with chopped scallions for a finishing touch. These crab cakes were, in my opinion, incredibly delicious. The sesame seeds add a lovely crust while the flavors work with the crab rather than overpower it. A little change of pace that is very much welcome!
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