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Asian Spiced Crab Cakes with Cilantro Dip
Kotwal Singh, Regional Executive Chef, Hard Rock Cafe Micronesia

Make the Cilantro Dip first.

1 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsps cumin seeds
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup canola oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 egg
salt to taste
cayenne for seasoning

Put the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce to 1/4 cup, 12 to 14 minutes. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, put the cumin seeds in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast for 4 minutes, stirring a few times. Grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spice mill.

Puree the orange juice with the cilantro in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the oil, cumin and lemon juice and mix well. Add the egg and mix well. Season with salt and cayenne to taste.

Crab Cakes

1 1/2 cups panko Japanese bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbs minced fresh ginger (about a 2-inch piece)
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
6 to 8 green onions, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs turmeric
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat, picked through for shells
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chives
2 Tbs grated lemon zest
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste
1/4 cup canola or olive oil

Mix the panko with the almond flour. Set aside.

Put the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and sauté the bell pepper and celery until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the ginger, garlic, and green onions. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cardamom, cumin and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cream, raise the heat to medium-high and reduce by half, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the crabmeat and two-thirds of the breadcrumb mixture, half of the parsley, and half of the chives. Mix well and add the lemon zest, cayenne, and salt to taste. Let cool.

Form into cakes with your hands, each about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. (You should have 12 to 14 cakes.)

Dip the top and bottom lightly into the remaining breadcrumbs. Refrigerate on a sheet pan lined with wax paper until ready to cook.

Preheat the canola or olive oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crab cakes and fry 3 minutes on each side. Put 2 crab cakes each on 6 plates and drizzle with the Cilantro Dressing. Garnish with the remaining parsley and chives.

Yield: 6 Servings

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