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
about 3 dozen bites & 1 1/2 cups mayo
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
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.
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.
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.
For the Bites
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.
Break large pieces of crab up with your fingers, and add to the bowl with the scallops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Allow to cool to room temperature then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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.)
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.
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.