In this week’s Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures story "The Tides", the family is so excited to take a trip to the coast of Maine. Martin and Sylvia are initially disappointed when they see that their vacation on the ocean is situated on what looks like an empty basin of mud, but when friends explain that “the tide is out”, the children have a chance to learn all about the amazing natural rhythm of “the tides”.
If you pay attention to almost any tide pool long enough, you’re pretty much certain to meet a crab or two. With their pincer-like claws, crabs can look menacing, but if you watch them long enough, they can actually be quite funny. On our family vacation to Hawaii, for example, we saw tiny crabs that would raise their claws up and futilely attempt to attack geysers of water that gushed up through the unique rock formations.
While it’s always tastier when you’re close to the coast, crab is also a type of seafood that holds up well enough to travel inland. Frozen or canned, a few lumps of crab meat sprinkled over a salad or in a sauce can make even the most avowed land-lover think fondly of the sea.
But our favorite use for crab is crab cakes!
The recipe below should be taken as a general guideline, not something that must be followed by rote. Crab cakes originated as a way for poorer people to stretch precious meat, so I like to follow the spirit of that and use what I have on hand as much as possible. Just keep the liquids to solids ratio close and you’ll be good. If crab is unavailable in your part of the world or out of your budget, we often sub canned salmon or tuna. It’s not quite the same, but it’s still pretty good.
(Makes about 10, 4-inch cakes)
1 6.5-ounce can of crab meat or equivalent
1 cup panko bread crumbs
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
3 green onions, diced
1 teaspoon Old Bay (or similar) seasoning
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil for frying
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the oil. Using clean hands, squeeze the mixture into evenly sized patties.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the crab cakes in batches — being careful not to crowd the pan — and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until they’re golden brown.
The finished cakes can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven while you finish cooking the rest. We like to eat our crab cakes with a simple salad and a big dollop of Greek yogurt on the side.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.