Growing up in New Jersey, every summer my family and I would head down to the shore. While today, the connotation of the Jersey shore has become entangled with the images of Snooki and Pauly D, my recollection was of a perfect family seaside town.
One of my favorite pastimes was crabbing with my dad. I remember carefully tying bait into the middle of trap and lowering it down into the brackish water. We would come back every day to check for our catch. I don't think we caught many crabs, but the experience itself was exciting. On the rare occasion when we would actually bring back some crabs, I was in heaven. I
loved picking apart the shell, pulling out the sweet meat, and dunking it in drawn butter. Honestly, I highly doubt I could even taste the crab. I was mostly a fan of the massive amount of butter.
Since then, my palate has changed, as has my diet. I've moved on from butter with a bit of crab to delicate crab crab cakes with aioli of some sort, but the memory of my earlier experiences has remained. Here's my adult take on crab cakes.
Old-School Jersey Shore Crab Cakes
For the crab cakes: One pound jumbo lump crab (lump crab isn't going to cut it), Old Bay Seasoning, one egg, about a quarter cup of mayo, a couple tablespoons of breadcrumbs, cilantro, parsley, green onions, pepper for the crab cakes. Flour for frying.
For the chili aioli, it's mayonnaise, minced fresh garlic, and asian chili sauce (preferably Sriracha).
Step One: Gently combine all of the ingredients except flour. Separate into four equally sized cakes.
Refrigerate for at least a half hour.
Step Two: To make the aioli, combine all of the ingredients. It's better if it can sit for a while.
Step Three: Heat about quarter cup of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Dredge the cakes in flour. Pan fry them until browned. Probably three to five minutes per side.
Step Four: Plate the crab cakes. I like to serve them over a bed of mixed greens with some drizzled lemon, olive oil, and aioli over top.
Crab cakes may not be the cheapest meal, but they're worth it. The ingredients are available year round and they don't require a ton of work. Happy eating!
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