“One of my most memorable fishing experiences was being out there on the boat in Newquay Cornwall, catching spider crabs. I was completely blown away by the sheer size of them - from claw to claw, a spider crab can expand up to 2 metres long! If you can’t get your hands on spider crabs, substitute with blue-swimmer, spanner or mud crab.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 120 g (½ cup) mayonnaise
- 1 free-range egg
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
- 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely shredded
- 1 tbsp thinly sliced coriander leaves
- 2 tsp kumquat or lime zest
- 600 g picked spider crab meat
- 90 g (1½ cups) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 50 g butter
- 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 100 ml Chinese black vinegar
- 100 g palm sugar
- 4 sprigs of dill
- 1 cucumber, thinly shaved lengthways
- 6 baby radishes, finely sliced
- 10 sprigs of coriander
- 10 sprigs of dill
- 1 lime, zested
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 1 hour
Pickling time 30 minutes
Place the mustard, mayonnaise, egg and fish sauce in a large bowl and use a hand held whisk to combine well. Stir in the spring onions, red onion, ginger, kaffir lime leaf, coriander and kumquat zest, then gently fold in the crab and breadcrumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, place the vinegar, sugar, dill and 100 ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stand until cool. Add the cucumber and baby radish, toss to coat well, then stand for 30 minutes or until lightly pickled.
Using slightly damp hands, divide the crab mixture into 8 portions and shape into firm discs.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, then add half the butter and oil. When the butter is foaming, fry half the crab cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Wipe the pan clean and repeat with the remaining butter, oil and crab cakes.
To serve, drain the pickled cucumber and radish from the dressing and place in a bowl. Add the dill and coriander sprigs and toss gently. Place the crab cakes on a serving platter, then top each with a little salad. Using a microplane, shave a little lime zest over the top, then drizzle with a little dressing and serve immediately.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgi Larby.
Artistica cereal bowl (salad) from Tomkin.