Wednesday, 20 July 2016


My Thai butter bean patties were a right little tasty treat. Not only are they super delicious but they are also super versatile. So much so that with a few little tweaks I transformed them into some Thai fish cakes. I've still kept the butter beans in them, they work  really well with the shredded crab meat and mashed potatoes. Add in the rest of your ingredients including a smidge of lemon, rice wine vinegar, fresh herbs and a glug of fish sauce to really ramp up the eastern vibe. Be prepared to get your hands on some crackin' crab cakes. 

Same rules apply with these crab cakes as they did with my butter bean patties. For the butter beans, if you don't have any or don't like them you can use cannolini beans instead. Black eye beans might work but try and avoid using something like kidney beans as the taste of them just doesn't work with the Thai flavors of the crab cakes.

As for all the other ingredients, I wouldn't mess around with them too much. I think the balance of the flavors is spot on. You can however leave the chili out if your not a fan of spice. Try and use fresh coriander and parsley if you can as well. Their flavor is more fragrant than using dried herbs and dried herbs can also make the crab cakes taste a bit gritty. You can also leave the fish sauce out as well if you don't like the flavor. Don't be put off my its pungent smell, it really does bring out the Thai in these crab cakes so please try them with fish sauce at least once. You never know what you might be missing out on!

Polenta makes a deliciously light and crispy coating to these crab cakes and bake beautifully in the oven. If you don't have any polenta or you want a bit more crunch to your crab cakes you can use some panko breadcrumbs instead but just keep an eye on them when they are in the oven as they are prone to catching and becoming bunt and nobody wants that now do they.

As for your crab, I've tinned shredded crab. You can get great quality crab meat in tins nowadays just make sure you buy shredded crab so that the meat as well that great seafood flavor is present right through the crab cakes. Chunks of crab will be harder to shape and will not hold together as well and you'll probably end up shredding it anyway so why waste your time. You can of course be super fancy and you fresh crab and harvest the meat from inside the shell yourself or ask your fishmonger to do it for you. Now that would make for a most special crab cake although not many of us have the time or money to be buying fresh crab all the time but if you do, go for it!

The recipe below will make 8 delicious crab cakes, that 2 each for a family of four or if you want you can wrap the crab cakes in film once you've shaped them into patties and freeze them. That way you can remove them later, coat them in the polenta and bake. They are fabulous little thing to have in the freezer ready to go for when you're looking for a quick evening meal.

Thai Crab Cakes

2 Peeled And Cubed Medium Potatoes
170g Tin Of Shredded Crab Meat
400g Can Of Butter Beans
1 Finely Diced Red Onion
1 Finely Chopped Red Chili
2 Finely Diced Spring Onion
Handfull Of Chopped Coriander Leaves
Handfull Of Chopped Parsley Leaves
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
Zest Of 1 Lemon
1 Whole Egg
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Fish Sauce
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
Salt And Pepper To Season
100g Polenta

  1. Begin by boiling the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash. Don't over do it so they are ridiculously soft, you want them to have a bit of firmness to them so that the patties hold together. When ready, drain and chuck them into a large bowl. 
  2. Drain the crab meat and butter beans and add them to the bowl with the potatoes and mash everything together. Don't go too mad, you want a little bit of texture to remain in the potatoes and beans. 
  3. Add all the other ingredients apart from the polenta,seasoning liberally with salt and pepper and give everything a good mix together until everything is well combined.
  4. Divide the mixture into 8 and form each portion into cakes and place them on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Cover with film and pop in the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hour. 
  5. When the crab cakes have firmed up, turn on your oven to 220 degrees (200 fan). Tip the polenta onto a plate and one by one, take the crab cakes and dip them in the polenta until they a coated all over, shaking off any excess. 
  6. Pop them back on the baking tray and spray them with a bit of oil on each side before popping them in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, flipping the crab cakes carefully halfway through so they are crisp all over. 
Carefully remove the Thai crab cakes from the oven and serve immediately so that they are piping hot inside when they hit the plate. The butter beans with the flavors of the chili, rice wine vinegar, lemon and coriander all work together to create a deliciously fragrant Thai flavor that is soaked up by the crab meat and dances all over your taste buds when you crunch through that crispy polenta coating making them a perfect accompaniment for my Bang Bang salad. It's such a simple recipe too that you'll tucking into these tasty Thai treats all the time. Super simple crab cakes that anyone can have a crack at!

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