Pan Seared Encrusted Crab Cakes with Roasted Ginger Aioli and Mixed Greens with Chaat Vinaigrette

2010 May/Jun


Crab Cakes:

  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 1 lb. crab meat, fresh, frozen or canned
  • 2 t. dry chives
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. each grated ginger and minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. garam masala (dry-roasted, ground spices for dusting on crab cakes before frying)
  • canola oil for frying


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put all ingredients except garam masala into a bowl and mix gently together. Form into 8 crab cakes that are 3 inches across and 1 inch thick. Dust the crab cakes lightly with the garam masala. Heat the oil in a fry pan and, when hot, add the crab cakes. Sear until crisp on one side, place on a cookie sheet and finish in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.


Roasted Ginger Aioli:

  • 3-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 t. grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 t. sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. olive oil


Roasting the ginger sweetens its flavour and removes its heat. Preheat oven to 450°F. Wrap the ginger in foil and bake it for 1 hour. Peel the roasted ginger and grate or mince it. Reserve. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the roasted ginger, mustard, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Begin adding the oil in a steady stream, whisking until the oil has fully emulsified to form the aioli. If it becomes too thick, add a drop or two of water.

Chaat Vinaigrette: blend or process 1 branch cilantro, 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 T. each ginger paste and garlic paste (or minced ginger and garlic), 1 t. garam masala and salt to taste. Toss the vinaigrette with mixed greens.

To serve: put two dollops of aioli on each plate and top each with a crab cake, brown, crispy side up. Add a side of dressed salad to each plate. Serves 4.