Corn pairs well with the crabmeat in these crispy cakes because it does not mask the seafood’s delicate flavor. The easy mayonnaise-based dipping sauce, a heady mix of heat, sweet and tart, is the ideal bright, bold accompaniment. Serve these versatile crab cakes as a starter at a dinner party, enjoy them as an hors d’oeuvre with a bottle of sparkling wine, or treat your family to a weekend brunch with these as the centerpiece.
Crab and Corn Cakes with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
3⁄4 cup (4 oz./125 g) fresh corn kernels
1 1⁄4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) mayonnaise
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
Salt, to taste
1 large egg
4 slices soft white bread, crusts trimmed and cut into small cubes
1⁄4 cup (1 oz./30 g) minced green onions, including tender green tops
1 lb. (500 g) jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
2 Tbs. chile-garlic sauce
1 1⁄2 Tbs. honey
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 cups (4 oz./125 g) panko bread crumbs
Canola oil for frying
Lemon or lime wedges for serving
Put the corn kernels in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times, until the kernels are broken up but still chunky. Transfer the corn to a large bowl and add 1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the mayonnaise, 1 Tbs. of the lime juice, the Old Bay seasoning, 1⁄4 tsp. salt and the egg. Stir to combine. Add the bread cubes, green onions and crabmeat and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the dipping sauce, in a bowl, mix together the remaining 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) mayonnaise, the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chile-garlic sauce, honey and lime zest. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Place the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Divide the crab mixture into 12 equal portions and shape each portion into a patty 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Gently coat the entire surface of each patty evenly with the bread crumbs. Place the cakes on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and coat with a thin film of oil. Working in batches, gently place about 4 cakes at a time in the frying pan, being careful not to crowd them. Fry until golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the cakes carefully with a spatula and fry until browned on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the cakes to paper towels to drain briefly. Repeat with the remaining cakes, adding oil to the pan as needed.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm, with the lemon wedges and dipping sauce. Makes 12 cakes; serves 4 to 6.
Find more fun recipes for couples in the kitchen—and everyone else who enjoys making great food—in our Two in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Newlyweds, by Christie Dufault and Jordan Mackay