Curried Crab and Scallop Bites with Curry and Lime Mayo

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
  • Makes about 3 dozen bites & 1 1/2 cups mayo
Author Notes

These are bite-sized crab and scallop cakes. I took inspiration from Cooking in Victoria's use of the filling for my “Grilled Calamari with Curried Crab Stuffing.” The flavors I used for that recipe were inspired by a Curried Crab Scallop Cake I found on Epicurious. So the recipe has in essence come full circle. I use a homemade curry and lime mayonnaise both as binder and as dipping sauce which I made using Shirley Corriher's method. You can also use good quality pre-made mayo if you want – see notes at the end of the recipe.

Test Kitchen Notes

Hardlikearmour’s crab and scallop bites are terrific in several ways. The scallop puree make a soft sweet base that holds together tasty hunks of crab with the perfect blend of herbs and spices. Because these are small bites, there is a great balance of crunchy panko to tender inside, with just the right kiss of curry. Add the mellow cooked-yolk mayo and you have a great party treat. We squeezed just a little Meyer lemon over ours for an extra citrus note. Delicious—and goes great with a glass of nice prosecco! —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • For the Mayonnaise
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • For the Bites
  • ½ pound scallops (sea or bay work fine)
  • ½ pound crab meat
  • red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 cup panko, plus additional for dredging (1 ½ to 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup curry and lime mayonnaise, plus additional if needed
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sweet curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ teaspoon Diamond kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Canola oil for frying
  1. For the Mayonnaise
  2. Combine lime juice, water, yolks, and sugar in a small skillet. Cook over low heat, continuously scraping the bottom with a silicone spatula. Once the mixture has started to thicken (the little bits of white will be opaque at this point) place bottom of skillet into a bowl of cold water for 15 seconds to halt the cooking.
  3. Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into your blender, scraping the skillet with your spatula to get as much as possible. Pulse 2 or 3 times, then let cool for 10 minutes before proceeding.
  4. Add salt, curry, lime zest, and cayenne. Turn blender on and VERY slowly drizzle in your oil. It should take 3 to 4 minutes to incorporate it all, and it is better to err on the slow side (especially in the beginning) to ensure good emulsification. Scrape down the sides of the blender after you've added about half the oil. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate.
  1. For the Bites
  2. Place scallops in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and a bit paste-like, with pieces no larger than ¼-inch remaining. (The paste-like texture will help in binding the cakes.) Transfer to a medium-large bowl.
  3. Break large pieces of crab up with your fingers, and add to the bowl with the scallops.
  4. Finely dice ½ cup of red pepper, you want pieces no larger than 1/8th inch so they incorporate well, and don't hamper the cakes from binding. Add the pepper to the bowl.
  5. Cut the roots off the green onions, then slit the white and light green parts lengthwise. Cut the onions crosswise into thin half-moons. Cut enough of the dark green parts so when measured you have a total of ¼ cup green onion. Add the onion to the bowl.
  6. Add panko, mayonnaise, cilantro, curry powder, lime zest, salt, and cayenne to the bowl. Mix gently, but thoroughly. The mixture should be moist and sticky. Add an additional tablespoon or two of mayonnaise if necessary.
  7. Gently roll heaping tablespoon portions into balls. Roll the balls in the panko and flatten slightly so they are about ½-inch thick. They should be bite-sized, so scale up or down if needed. Set formed balls aside on a plate or tray.
  8. Heat about ¼-inch of canola oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. You want a piece of panko dropped into the oil to bubble, but not furiously. Fry about a dozen bites at a time until golden-brown on the bottom (about 3 minutes.) Turn them and fry the other side until it is also golden-brown. Tranfer bites to a large paper towel lined plate. Fry remaining bites in batches, adding additional canola oil between batches to maintain ¼-inch depth.
  9. Allow to cool to room temperature then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  10. To reheat: Remove the tray from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350º F. Uncover the tray, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until heated through. Serve with remaining curry and lime mayonnaise. (Either on the side, or in tiny dollops atop each bite.)
  11. NOTE: If you don't want to make your own mayonnaise simply combine 1 ¼ cups pre-made mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon sweet curry powder, 1 teaspoon lime zest, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk until homogenous.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LittleMissMuffin
  • fiveandspice
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • arielleclementine
  • mrslarkin
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

23 Reviews

Louise October 2, 2018
How far ahead could I make the filling? I’m short on time. I’d like to make the filling Friday, Cooke the bites Saturday, and reheat for dinner Sunday. Any thoughts? I’ve made this recip before and it was great. My husband told me to switch my usualrecipe to this. But, I’ve only ever made them day of. Time constraints are such that I would like to prep ahead if possible.
hardlikearmour October 3, 2018
I think that would work, but I've not tried doing it. Let me know how it goes.
Louise October 3, 2018
Thanks so much, I’ll try and let you know.
LittleMissMuffin August 1, 2015
did anyone try baking them?
fiveandspice November 27, 2013
Yum! I never noticed these before, but they look so good! I want a babysitter, and an invitation to a party, and these to be there! :)
richard P. September 14, 2013
I recently found I am always searching for new appetizers for our gallery openings. This recipe is now at the top of my list, and an opening night favorite! Everyone raved, the flavors are perfect and the mayonnaise easy and wonderful!
hardlikearmour September 19, 2013
Thank you!!!
richard P. September 19, 2013
You are most welcome! I am wondering, since I am not a "fryer" by nature, do you think these could be baked in the oven instead?
hardlikearmour September 19, 2013
Good question! I've not tried it, but suspect it would work if you gave them a light misting of oil. If I were going to experiment with it (which I might), I'd probably try baking off a couple the next time I made the recipe to see how it goes w/o jeopardizing failure with a whole batch.
richard P. September 19, 2013
Thanks! Good idea to try a few first. Will try it this weekend and let you know.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 8, 2011
Beautiful flavors, presentation and photo, HLA!! I just love this one. This is another one for my "must make soon" list. I'm so enjoying seeing all these wonderful one-bit app/snack dishes!
hardlikearmour December 8, 2011
Thanks, CS! I hope you get a chance to make them.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 8, 2011
I will make sure of it! BTW - it looks like we're finally heading to Portland in February! Would love to meet!!
hardlikearmour December 8, 2011
that would be great!!!
arielleclementine December 7, 2011
these are really lovely!
arielleclementine December 7, 2011
these are really lovely!
hardlikearmour December 7, 2011
Thanks, AC!
mrslarkin December 7, 2011
mmmm...yummy! perfect one-bite party food!
hardlikearmour December 7, 2011
Thank you, mrsL! They make a pretty tasty bite.
boulangere December 7, 2011
hardlikearmour December 7, 2011
Thanks, B!
EmilyC December 7, 2011
Oh yum! I love all of the flavors here. I'll bet these are addictive!
hardlikearmour December 7, 2011
Thanks, Emily! I took them to a dinner party tonight, and they disappeared pretty quickly.