Wednesday, 6 August 2014


The crab cakes we make here in Cornwall and other parts of the West Country are very different from those in the USA. We use mashed potato as the ingredient to bind, plus all the flavourings, of course. I honestly do not know if our earlier forebears made some form of crab cakes, but surely those that lived in the coastal fishing villages must have?

As I make these, it is mid June, the crab season is now in full flow in Falmouth Bay and the meat is so scrumptious. Many folk do not like the brown meat. But it undoubtedly has far more flavour and is ideal to mash into the potato, [plus it is cheaper] giving the cakes an intense crab taste and flavour. I go for ⅓ rd white, the rest brown. They freeze perfectly, as I will do for the ones I am prepping - to use during the summer for an easy meal when visitors are here.

I will not give you exact quantities but use, ¼ as much again potato as crab.
Therefore: 1lb mixed crab meat to 1¼ lb mashed potato. But you can add a little more potato if you wish.

Boil your potatoes until just soft and drain. Cool for a few minutes, then tip in the brown crab meat and mash together, with the juice of half a lemon. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop together, very very finely:

A medium red chilli [I took out the seeds, but it is up to you]
a medium shallot
a few spring onions
grated zest of a large lemon
large handful of fresh parsley

When the potato and crab is smooth, tip in the herby oniony mix and combine carefully.

Now shape the cakes. I place a small plate on flat digital scales and carefully weigh each portion to get the same size. Mine were 3 oz each. Then pat each one into shape and place on a sheet ready to chill or freeze. [The above makes about 15] Chill for a couple of hours, then fry in a fairly hot pan for about 3 - 4 mins each side. Just delicious with a salad on a summer’s evening. Oh - and sweet chilli sauce! Shed loads of it!!

You can fry them in any oil you wish, BUT those that follow my recipes know that I love using Rapeseed oil. Borderfields make a fabulous Chilli Infusion version. I use that, for dishes like this.

Defrost in the fridge for an hour or so, then continue as above.
If you do wish to freeze them, pack individually, in a rigid container, when frozen, or a ziplok bag. I wrap each one in cling film first.

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