Chinese Noodle-Crusted Crab Cakes | Sriracha Mayo | Cilantro-Scallion-Lime Juice Oil
SOMETIMES, YOU HAVE TO SEE your way through , despite the obstacles. So was the case earlier this evening when I set out to make a dish that had been lolling around in my brain for over a month: crabcakes with a sriracha mayo. Much like the guys on TV who brave intemperate weather and life-threatening conditions to catch such crab, it seems I was hit with obstacles almost every step of the way.

I first hit Food Emporium, grabbing my little hand cart and stocking it with eggs, scallions, lump crab meat, panko bread crumbs (via my friend Stephen's suggestion), cilantro, all before realizing that they didn't have sriracha sauce, a condiment no fridge should be without (and my fridge needed a replacement of). Despite being redirected several times by the less-than-helpful stock boy/customer service rep/cashier, my search wound up frustratingly fruitless as I dropped all of my other groceries at the customer service desk and walked out empty-handed.

My "never-die" spirit redirected me to Gristede's, less than a block away, and, walking in and through, started to refill a new hand cart with the same intended ingredients. And—aha!—they did have sriracha sauce. My celebration, however, was cut quickly short when I realized that they didn't have panko breadcrumbs. Nor did they have lumpcrab meat, but the regular really shredded kind. That would have to make do, but what to do for bread crumbs? I spied a bag of crispy Chinese noodles in the same "international" aisle-land and figured, (A), I could use these crispy noodles in a number of ways for future food preps and, (B), I could just make breadcrumbs from these.

So, undeterred, I pay for my groceries, putting together the ingredients I was brining home with the ingredients I already had a home. Ground ginger, check. Fresh limes, check. And so on.

I get home and throw my groceries on the counter. I threw some scallion greens, fresh cilantro, and the the juice of a lime into a blender, and started to purée as I slowly poured in some extra virgin olive oil. It took more than a few seconds to realize that the olive oil was also slowly seeping out of the bottom of the container and out the back of the blender (I was missing the rubber "washer" that helps seal the blade chassis to the pitcher), and soon the counter was half covered in oil. This is also about the time I realized I was out of paper towels, so in a small panic, I sacrificed a Coors Light t-shirt ("Never Forget!"), and made a quick chilly run to the corner deli for paper towels and another bottle of olive oil.

A thawing out and counter-cleaning later, I, again, threw the cilantro, scallion greens and lime juice into the blender—with a dash of salt and pepper—until I got a nice texture and color to it.



I squeezed (squoze?) several healthy shots of sriracha sauce into about a half cup of mayo, adding a couple of drops of fish sauce into it and gave that a nice good whisk.




I tossed a handful of the crispy noodle into a countertop chopper and give that several good pulses.



I emptied two cans of crab meat into a bowl, seasoned it with salt and fresh cracked pepper, and added a teaspoon of mustard, some lemon juice, some ground ginger, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chopped scallion whites, minced garlic, half a whisked raw egg (saving the other half for a later dredging process), and some of the crispy noodle crumbs, the last two ingredients making the "binder" which will keep the eventual patty from falling apart.

While mixing those last ingredients together, I rendered the fat from two strips of bacon, planning to use that as my cooking grease.


I formed the crab meat mixture into patties, them dredged them into some paprika-seasoned flour, dipping them into the egg wash, coating them in the crispy noodle crumbs, them placing them in the skillet with the bacon grease, over low medium heat. I let them cook about foour minutes each side, checking their exteriors for the proper golden color, and as they reach the end of their cooking, I start "dressing" the plate with the cilantro-scallion oil, finishing with the crab cakes, sriracha mayo, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of chili oil.





The patties were nice a thick and cooked through, give of a great aroma, and encased in a nice, crispy, thinly crunchy exterior.



The crispy noodle, to me, were the coup of this dish, bigger toasted crumbs on the outside provide loud crunch from the beginning to the end of each bite. The sriracha sauce was also a great success, with that chili-garlic heat that starts with a sweeping hit a heat, mellows out by the back off the mouth, and finishes like a flower through the nose. The herbs cool and crisp, cleansing the end of each forkful. And the crab cakes, fortunately, delicated seasoned enough to still taste all the crab goodness, although I couldn't help thinking how much better these could have been with lump crab meat, those delicious firm, flavorful lumps being a cap highlight, and star, of the dish.



Oddly enough, there was even an obstacle to getting to eat this immediately; I had received a text message that a good friend of mine was downstairs in the bar below my apartment. I went down to say a quick hello to her and ran into many of my good friends who I hadn't seen in a while and tried desperately to get back to my dinner without seeing rude, even showing them the pictures of this meal to them off my camera. Then they reprimanded me for not inviting them to join me for this dinner.

Then friend I wanted to hang out with I told to wait; I would come back after my meal and hang out with her (and her boyfriend), but by the time I did, she had left.

It seems I just couldn't catch a break...! :/

Bun Apple Tea!


Chinese Noodle-Crusted Crab Cakes | Sriracha Mayo | Cilantro-Scallion-Lime Juice Oil