The key is soy mayonnaise, lime juice and onion crackers – these ingredients bind the little cakes without egg. Some cooks use cornstarch, but this changes the texture and consistency of the cakes. Unlike fish cutlets, crab cakes made with surimi are quite dry and needs a moister binding agent than just bread or crackers so that the cakes hold together when you fry them.
The green chilies available in Moscow are usually pretty mild but still more exciting than green bell pepper, which you can use as a substitute if you need to. If you want something with more kick, fee free to add hotter chilies or 1-3 tsp of Tabasco sauce.
500 g surimi / imitation crab sticks
500 g shrimp meat
1 cup finely crushed onion crackers
2/3 cup each finely chopped onion, celery and green chilies
¼ cup (packed) fresh chopped cilantro leaves
¾ cup soy mayonnaise
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
Juice of 1 lime
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cajun salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ c white flour
¼ c tempura batter
Salt, pepper to taste
½ cup vegetable oil for frying
To make the crab cakes, remove the crab sticks (surimi) from their individual wrappers, cut the sticks in thirds crosswise and then use you hands to break up the meat into stingy pieces in a large bowl or pot. Rise shrimp and press out excess water using cheesecloth or a sieve. Grind the shrimp in a meat grinder or chop very finely with a knife. Chop up all vegetables very fine. Add minced shrimp and vegetables to the crab meat and add lime juice and spices. Using your hands or a big spoon, mix the ingredients well. I like to use my hands to break up the surimi even more and make sure all the ingredients are well distributed. Finally, add the soy mayonnaise and mix well. The resulting mass should stick to itself pretty well.
Use the mass to form 3 cm balls and place them on a 20 x 30 cm piece of waxed paper or baking paper.
Mix the flour, tempura batter, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Coat the
Mix the flour, tempura batter, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Coat theballs one at a time with the flout-tempura mixture and form them into rough patties about 2 cm thick. You may need to wash your hands every now and then to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands. It is important to make the cakes all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Heat the 1/2 of vegetable oil in a large pan for 3-4 minutes, or until you're sure it is hot and fry the cakes in the hot oil in small batches of 3 to 5 for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Placed the cooked crab cakes on a plate layered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Serve Baja Crab Cakes with guacamole and Spanish rice and plenty of cold beer.