Spicy Crab & Prawn Fishcakes with Sweetcorn and Coriander and a Thai style Dipping Sauce

Everyone who cooks has a list of purely personal favourite dishes, their own or at a restaurant, they can be terribly simple or frighteningly complex. As a chef you develop a list of go to classic recipes that work every time, easy to cook and as incredible eating for family, friends or paying guests. Thai Spiced Crab and Prawn Fishcakes would get an entry near to the top on to both of my lists although a little extravagant. I know living on an island spoils you with the ability to get hold of great ingredients like fresh crab every day. I love the layers of flavours in Thai cooking and while this dish is only my interpretation I hope it has a little of the depth, spice and variety with the typical hot, sweet and sour tastes. The Thai style dipping sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator but is best served at room temperature.

Thai style Crab Cakes

Spicy Crab & Prawn Fishcakes with Sweetcorn and Coriander

and a Thai style Dipping Sauce                                            serves 4 – 6

150 gr firm White Fish such as Cod, Haddock or Coley

100 gr freshly picked White Crab Meat

50 gr fresh peeled Prawns, roughly chopped

50 gr cooked Sweetcorn Nibs

1 medium sized, fresh, free range Egg

2 stems Lemon Grass, peeled and finely chopped

2 small, hot Chilli Peppers, finely diced

1 piece of Preserved Ginger, finely grated

1 tablespoon of Fish Sauce

Zest and juice of 2 fresh Limes

½ teaspoon of ground Coriander

¼ teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper

1 Bunch of fresh Coriander, finely chopped

A large knob of Butter and Vegetable oil for frying

for the dipping sauce

1 small Carrot, peeled and very finely diced

1 Banana Shallot, peeled and very finely diced

1 stick of Celery, very finely diced

1 sweet Red Pepper, very finely diced

2 small hot Chilli peppers, finely diced

2 stems Lemon Grass, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed to a pulp

1 piece of Preserved Ginger, finely grated

3 tablespoons of Fish Sauce

2 tablespoons of Palm Sugar or soft Brown Sugar

Zest and juice of 2 fresh Limes

1 tablespoon of fresh Coriander, finely chopped

freshly boiled Water

First prepare the dipping sauce by placing all of the ingredients excluding the coriander in a glass bowl just covered with boiling water. Stir and allow to cool. When completely cooled down stir in the coriander. Adding the coriander whilst hot can discolour the chopped leaves, allowing the sauce to cool will ensure an appealing fresh green colour. The temperature of the boiling water is sufficient to soften but not cook the vegetables leaving a slight crunch.

Blitz the fish in a food processor for two minutes on the pulse setting. You do not want to let the motor get hot as it will start to cook the fish. For a professional finish you can pass the fish through a fine sieve to remove any unprocessed lumps. Add the egg, fish sauce, lime zest and juice and process for a further minute. Transfer to a bowl and work in the remaining ingredients. Do not worry if the mixture seems quite loose as it will produce a moist crab cake.

Cooking Crab CakesHeat a thin coating of oil in a heavy bottomed non stick frying pan over a medium-high heat add the butter and using an ice cream scoop drop in four or five balls of the crab mix. Flatten gently with a spatula and cook for five to six minutes before very carefully turning and cooking for a few more minutes. When the crab cakes are golden brown on both sides and firm to the touch but not solid, remove on to kitchen paper and keep warm. Wipe out the pan and repeat the process to use up the crab mixture. Serve with the dipping sauce and lime wedges.

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