Paleo Crab Cakes
Why This Recipe Works
We wanted a recipe for sweet and plump crab cakes with big seafood flavor, but since bread crumbs and store-bought mayonnaise are usually used as binders, we had to reimagine our approach. First we made a batch of mayo from scratch and folded in lump crabmeat along with a bit of sautéed celery, onion, and garlic, but because our homemade mayo had no stabilizers, our crab cakes fell apart while they cooked. Looking for a paleo-friendly alternative, we turned to toasted coconut and an egg, which had helped us to bind together our salmon cakes. But after sliding our cakes into a hot pan we found that the coconut caused them to fall apart even more. We wondered why our salmon cakes had held together well and the crab cakes fell apart. Our science editor explained that the raw proteins in the salmon help to bind the cakes; since crabmeat is sold already cooked, it doesn’t have the same sticking power. To add raw seafood proteins to our mix, we decided to use shrimp. We made a quick shrimp puree in a food processor to see if it would hold our cakes together. The shrimp puree bound the crab perfectly; after searing we were left with beautiful golden-brown cakes with plenty of sweet seafood flavor. A squeeze of fresh lemon over the finished crab cakes was a welcome addition.