Crab cakes with samphire and lemon dressing

Recipes, Summer

These crab cakes are easy to make and are a delicious summery meal. I have served with samphire, a wonderful summer sea vegetable, but they go equally as well with salad or any summery greens. White crab meat works best here as the brown meat is a lot wetter, although a little does add a lovely depth to the flavour. I usually use a mix of the two, but weighted towards white.

You want fairly floury potatoes to get the best texture and make sure they are dry before you mash them – too much water will make the mixture very sticky. I also use chickpea flour in this recipe which makes them gluten free, but you can swap it for plain flour if you prefer.

Makes 4 small crab cakes – serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter
150g crab meat (a mixture of brown and white or all white)
1 egg
250g potato
50g chickpea flour
Handful fresh herbs (marjoram, parsley or tarragon)
Sesame or coconut oil for frying
 
30g butter
1 tsp plain flour
1 tblsp cider or white wine vinegar
1/2 tblsp lemon juice

Circa 80g samphire

Peel, chop and boil the potatoes until soft. Mash and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Briefly beat the egg then mix in the crab, mashed potato and roughly chopped herbs and season well. Mix in the flour to create a thick but sticky mixture. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes. You can make the mix in advance and leave in the fridge for a good few hours if you need to.

Make the sauce: melt the butter and slowly add about a teaspoon of flour, stirring continuously so no lumps form. It will only just start to thicken but don’t be tempted to add more, or it will be too thick. Gradually add the vinegar and lemon juice and gently whisk. Take off heat and add a little black pepper.

Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Make patties with a large spoonful of mixture. It will be quite sticky so rub the palm of your hands with a little oil so it doesn’t stick to them. Pop in the pan and shallow fry over a medium heat for at least 5 minutes or until starting to brown. Turn over and fry for another 5 minutes on the other side or until the cake feels fairly solid- turn down to a low heat and continue cooking if they are brown but still squidgy to touch – you want to make sure they are thoroughly warmed through.

Steam the samphire (it will take only a few minutes) and serve with the cakes drizzled in the lemon dressing.