Avocado and Blue Crab Cakes with a Mango, Papaya and Macadamia Nut Salad Tossed with Spicy Cilantro Dressing

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
50 min
15 min
10 min

4 first course servings with 1/2 cup dressing

  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seed removed, and mashed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 firm-ripe mango, peeled and julienned
  • 1 green papaya, peeled and julienned
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed and seeded, julienned
  • 1 1/2 cups shaved napa cabbage, shaved
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted macadamia nuts
  • In a mixing bowl combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, mashed avocado, lime juice, salt, and white pepper and fold gently to combine, trying to retain as many lumps of crabmeat as possible.

  • Place the flour in a small bowl and season lightly with salt and white pepper. In a second bowl combine the eggs and milk; whisk to combine and season lightly with salt and white pepper. In a third bowl place the panko bread crumbs.

  • Using a measuring cup as a guide, divide the crabmeat mixture into 8 equal sized portions, about 1/3 cup each, and, using your hands, form into cakes about 3 inches wide and 1-inch thick. Working 1 at a time, dredge the crab cakes into the flour, then into the egg wash, and finally the panko crumbs, shaking between each stage to remove excess. Place breaded cakes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the mango-papaya salad, at least 15 minutes.

  • Chef's Note: These crab cakes are fragile and will require caution when breading. After breading and refrigerating they will be easier to handle.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the mango, papaya, poblano, and napa cabbage. In a blender combine the cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar and blend until smooth. Toss the mango-papaya mixture with the dressing and season, to taste, with salt and white pepper. Set aside, refrigerated, while you cook the crab cakes.

  • Heat a large skillet with 1/2-inch of vegetable oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the crab cakes, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides and heated through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly before serving. Repeat with remaining crab cakes, if necessary.

  • When ready to serve, place some of the mango-papaya salad in the center of 4 plates and lean 2 crab cakes against the salad. Garnish with the toasted macadamia nuts and serve immediately.

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