I adore crabcakes. I usually order them when I see them on a menu, with varying expectations and results. Some taste more like mayo and breadcrumbs than of crab; others are so filled with extra ingredients that as interesting as a coconut-chili crabcake can be, it strays too much from the original.
I had been eyeing the large containders of lump crabmeat at Costco for a while, and having crab-loving friends over for dinner seemed a good opportunity. I looked at a lot of recipes,and ended up mixing and matching to wind up with a fairly simple mixture. They were really, really good! A pound of crabmeat (around $14) made 16 small crabcakes. Three made for a nice serving. The leftovers reheated fairly well in the toaster oven for lunch.
1 small onion, finely diced
2 small stalks celery, finely diced
1 tsp. butter
1/2 cup Hellman's mayonnaise, maybe a bit more (not lowfat, for a change)
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for coating (I like Whole Foods' panko crumbs)
1 tsp. chili sauce ( I used vietnamese)
1 tsp. grainy mustard
1 Tbs, chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound crabmeat
canola oil for frying
Melt the butter in a small skillet, and saute the onion and celery until just softened a bit. Pour into a bowl, and let cool. Put rest of ingredients, except for cabmeat and oil into the bowl, and mix well. Add the crabmeat, and very gently combine, keeping the crab as intact as possible. If needed, add a bit more mayo--you want the mixture fairly loose. Form into small, thick cakes. Pour a layer of panko crumbs onto a plate, and gently press each side of the crabcakes into panko crumbs. Heat the oil, and slip the crabcakes into the pan. Fry on medium-high heat until just golden and crispy, then carefully turn to cook the other side. Lift from pan, and briefly blot on paper towels. Serve at once. We liked them with some chopped tomato, scallions, and a spicy mayo (mayo, chili sauce, scallions, parsley)