Progressive Christmas Tea Party: Thai Crab Cakes

There are five common varieties of crab that we use in the US. Blue crab is our local variety here on the East coast and it really is blue before it is cooked. Dungeness crab is found in the waters of the Pacific, from Alaska to Mexico. King crab is known for their foot-long legs. Rock crab live among the rocks deep in the ocean. And finally Stone crab is found in the waters surrounding Florida. They have large, lobster-like claws full of meaty goodness.

¼ cup flaked coconut
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
¼ cup bottled red peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons Asian chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons snipped fresh mint or basil
2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
2 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound crabmeat, picked over
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Chop coconut in a food processor until it is fine; set aside. In bowl, combine egg, ½ cup of the bread crumbs, mayo, ¼ cup green onions, peppers, chili sauce, cilantro, mint, lime peel, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add crabmeat and mix gently. Shape crab into ¾-inch balls.

In a pie pan, combine coconut and remaining ¼ cup bread crumbs. Dip crab cakes into this mixture. Place crab cakes on waxed paper and chill for 1 to 24 hours.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add crab cakes, spacing 1-inch apart, as space in the pan allows. Cook about 6 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Turn only once. Keep warm in a 300ยบ oven while cooking the remaining crab cakes. Serve warm. Makes about 24 crab cake balls.