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Smoked Basa & Lump Crab Cakes with Sweet Soy Butter Sauce and Tropical Fruit Salsa
Clayton Babas, Chef, Bistro at P.I.C.


This recipe won first place in the Yamasa Soy Cooking Competition at PHARE 2005.

Have on hand for garnishing: Fresh Mint, Plantain Chips and Togarashi-Shichimi (Japanese pepper).

Make the Sweet Soy Syrup and the Tropical Fruit Salsa first. Both can be made a day ahead.

SWEET SOY SYRUP

2 cups Yamasa soy sauce
3 cups sugar
3 pcs star anise
1 cinnamon stick

Combine in a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and reduce by half. Remove spices when ready to use.

Yield: 1 cup

TROPICAL FRUIT SALSA

1/4 cup pineapple, diced
1/4 cup mango, diced
1/4 cup lychee, diced
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp Yamasa soy sauce
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs honey
Salt as needed

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl add salt as needed. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight to allow flavors to combine and develop.

Yield: 3 cups

SMOKED BASA

1 lb basa filets
1/4 cup sake
1/2 cup Yamasa Soy Sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp red chili flakes

Mix all ingredients together and marinate the basa filets for approximately 2 hours. Remove from marinade, pat dry and smoke using:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white rice, raw
2 cups hickory chips, soaked in water for 1 hour, then drained

Place large piece of foil on the bottom of a wok, add the sugar, rice and wood chips, then place Chinese bamboo steamer basket over mixture. Place basa filets inside of basket and cover. Turn the stove on high and when mixture starts to smoke, turn down heat and let smoke for 5 minutes. Remove basket from wok and let fish filets cool down before removing.

BASA AND LUMP CRAB CAKES

1 lb smoked basa
1 lb lump crabmeat, picked thru to make sure no shells
1 tsp fresh garlic, chopped fine
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs cream cheese
1 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp L&P Worcestershire
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup panko breadcrumbs plus extra for dredging
Salt and pepper to taste
Egg Wash
1/2 cup flour
Vegetable oil for frying

Combine the mayo, cream cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire and lemon juice until smooth and set aside. Gently stir basa and crab together then add the chopped vegetables and toss lightly to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the fish/seafood mixture and and mix until combined adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the panko to bind all ingredients.

Portion into 6 oz balls and flatten into patties. Lightly flour the patties, dip in egg wash then panko and place on paper lined tray.

In a heavy pan over medium heat, add about a 1/2" of oil and pan fry the cakes until gIolden brown. Place on warm plate and cover to keep warm while you make the Sweet Soy Butter Sauce.

Yield: 10 cakes

SWEET SOY BUTTER SAUCE

1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
1 qt heavy whipping cream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sweet soy syrup (made earlier)

Combine wine and spices in small heavy saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Remove bay leaf and peppercorns. Stir in the heavy cream return to boil and reduce by one-third. Turn off heat and stir in the butter then add the sweet soy syrup.

TO SERVE

Place 2 oz of Sweet Soy Butter Sauce in center of each plate, place one Basa Cake in center of sauce, top with one tablespoon of Tropical Fruit Salsa. Garnish with fresh mint leaf and plantain chip. Drizzle with remaining Sweet Soy Syrup and a sprinkle of Togarashi Pepper.

Yield: 10 servings

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