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Lump crab meat is a mixture of both smaller and larger portions of the crab. It’s varying piece makes it a great option for recipes where the crab meat has to be handled a little more.
Herbs add a lot of freshness to this light dish. Fresh herbs wont compete with the sweet crab which will give it a great chance to shine. A nice clove of minced garlic is easier to incorporate and permeates the delicate seafood for a subtle garlic flavor.
A binder is necessary when making crab cakes it keeps the tender flakes of crab together so that it wont fall apart in the pan. Binder needs to be used sparinginly as it can oftentimes overtake the crab and be a filler rather than a binder. For this recipe the binder is a whisked egg with a splash of cornstarch. The egg and cornstarch mix wont alter any flavors or weigh the cake down. It will also fully coat the crabcake so that it will be structually sound in the pan.
Lemon aioli is super easy to make and requires little to no prep. Lemon aioli is similar to tartar sauce. Tartar sauce contains pickle relish that gives it a more rustic texture. Aioli is all the same familiar ingredients minus the pickles relish instead fresh dill is used in its place. This smooth and tangy sauce is the perfect addition to the sweet crab cakes.
when making the cakes you want to start with the binder. whisk the eggs and cornstarch till the egg is completely thinned out. thinning out the egg first will make sure its completely incorporated into the entire cake not just in one area. once the egg is whisked add in the crab meat, followed by the seasonings. once seasoned, fold the crab cakes by hand to ensure that the crab doesnt get broken down too much.
when making the crab cakes the goal is to have a super crispy, buttery outside along with a tender and flaky inside. to achieve that you want to start cooking over medium high heat. you want to work with higher heat because you dont want them in the pan too long since the crab meat is already cooked. lightly coating in a dusting of flour and starch also help hold and crisp the cakes. before adding the crab cakes to the hot pan you want to add both a nuetral oil, for a higher smoke point and a little clarified butter for some added flavor. cook the crab cakes till golden on both sides. make sure the crab cakes arent too big, you want them to be heated all the way through since they are coated in raw egg.
serve the crab cakes with clarifed butter to enhace the sweetness of the crab cakes, serve this dish with the chilled lemon aioli and a wedge of lemon to cut through the richness of the butter.