Araxi's Dungeness crab cakes with corn salsa

Image for Araxi's dungeness crab cakes with corn salsa

Although you may think about seafood more in the warmer months, the colder months is the perfect time to dig into meaty Dungeness crabs. Use this recipe from Araxi, one of British Columbia's best dining destinations, for mouth-watering crab cakes. You'll never settle for anything less again.

Corn salsa

3 ears fresh corn, husks removed
3 roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
sea salt, to taste

Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobs. Place the kernels in a bowl and discard the cobs (or reserve them for another use).

Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil on high heat. Add the corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the corn, place it in a large bowl and set it aside to cool.

To the bowl of corn, add the tomatoes, green onions, jalapeño, bell pepper and cilantro and toss well to combine.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin and lightly toast in the oil for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar and sugar. Pour this cumin tomato mixture over the corn and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and refrigerate until needed. This will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days. 

Peach puree (optional)

3 ripe peaches, halved, pits removed and cut into 1⁄2-inch chunks
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 pinch sea salt
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Place on medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until peaches are soft and the skins are starting to fall off.

Remove from the heat and place in a blender, processing on high until smooth. Press the purée through a fine strainer into a bowl and place, uncovered, in the fridge until cool.


Crab cakes

2 lb Dungeness crab meat, picked of shells or cartilage
1/2 cup fine regular bread crumbs
1 large green onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup yuzu mayonnaise
1 lime, juice and zest
sea salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
4 cups canola or vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
peach puree

In a large chilled bowl, combine the crabmeat, fine bread crumbs, green onion, cilantro and ginger with the yuzu mayonnaise and lime juice and zest. Season lightly with salt and white pepper, then mix thoroughly but gently to avoid breaking up the crab meat lumps. Using your hands, divide the crab mixture into 8 evenly sized balls and refrigerate until ready to bread.

Combine the eggs and the milk in a small bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly. Place the flour in a second bowl, and the panko bread crumbs in a third, separate bowl.

Just before you’re ready to serve, heat the canola (or vegetable) oil in a deep fryer, wok or deep saucepan to 330°F.

Remove the crab mixture from the fridge and, using your hands, lightly press each of the balls into a puck shape so the cakes will cook evenly. One at a time, first dip the cakes into the flour and shake off any excess, then place them in the egg mixture and, lastly, in the bread crumbs. You can refrigerate the crab cakes until you are ready to cook them.

Line a plate with paper towels and place it in a warm place. Use a deep-fry thermometer to test the temperature of the oil. When it is hot enough, quickly drop 3 of the crab cakes into the hot oil, frying them until lightly golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crab cakes to the paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining crab cakes, cooking them in batches of 2 or 3 until they are all cooked.

To serve, arrange the cooked crab cakes on a serving platter, garnish them with the corn salsa and drizzle with the peach purée. Serve immediately.