Crab Cakes — Part II

February 27, 2008

A few months ago I wrote about the way I make crab cakes. It was a fairly traditional recipe using breadcrumbs, egg, and a little mayo as the binder.

That was the way I used to make crab cakes, because after last night’s experiment, I’m not going back. What did I do differently? I used a binder of scallop/shrimp mousse. Let me explain.

I first heard of using a seafood mousse as a binder in cakes last year in a discussion on eGullet. But I really didn’t think about this again until yesterday, when I had lunch with a chef friend, and our discussion focused on why so many places serve lousy crab cakes. She suggested for a binder using a mousse made mostly of scallops, with a bit of egg and cream added to help emulsify it all. She said that when the mousse cooks, it almost fades into the crab, so you end up with a crab cake that is almost all lumps of luscious crab meat, without any noticeable binder. Read the rest of this entry »