Korean crab cakes are similar to their American cousins in appearance but have a distinctively different flavor.
- 1 lb medium-firm bean curd
- 1 lb king crab legs (about 1 cup crab meat), or 1 cup lump or backfin crabmeat
- 3 eggs (divided use)
- 1 tbsp rice wine (or vermouth)
- 1 green onion, white and pale green part only, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (divided use)
- 1 lemon, quartered (garnish)
- Pinch of hot red pepper threads, snipped into small pieces (garnish)
- Parsley sprigs (garnish)
- Vinegar Soy Sauce
- Wrap the bean curd in a paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Combine the bean curd in a large mixing bowl with the crab meat, one egg, rice wine (or vermouth), green onion, garlic, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Lightly mix together with a wooden spoon. Do not over mix it. Divide the mixture into eight balls and flatten them into small cakes, each about 3 inches in diameter.
- Spread the flour on a small plate. Lightly beat the remaining eggs in a shallow bowl with a few drops of water.
- Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, working with four crab cakes, dredge each one in the flour and coat each with the egg. Quickly add the crab cakes to the skillet and cook for two minutes, or until the coating is golden yet moist. Flip the cakes and cook for two minutes longer. Transfer the finished crab cakes to a tray, and cook the remaining four crab cakes in the same way.
- To serve, arrange the crab cakes on a large platter or on four individual plates (two crab cakes each). Garnish with lemon, pieces of hot pepper threads, and parsley. Serve as an entree or side dish, accompanied by vinegar soy sauce, in small individual bowls, as a dipping sauce.
- Vinegar Soy Sauce: In a bowl combine two tablespoons soy sauce, two tablespoons rice wine (or vermouth), two tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), one tablespoon sesame oil, two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Just before serving, sprinkle the top with one tablespoon coarsely chopped pine nuts or toasted sesame seeds and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. The sauce will stay fresh for at least one week.
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Publisher | Christened the "Pope of Peppers" by The New York Times, Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.
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