Friday, September 09, 2011

Smoky Curacha Cakes

So. I’ve gone on and on about curacha. I am quite certain that you do not want to hear more of the same ardent ramblings on the subject. If you missed it though, please check here and here. This is truly an awesome crustacean and worth getting to know.

All that being said, allow me to tell you about another way that I used my precious curacha bounty. Crab cakes! Crab cakes are something I have had (shameful I know) only in restaurants. I have never tasted any homemade, and I have never hazarded an attempt at making them myself. Well, a surfeit of sweet curacha meat has finally presented me with the golden opportunity, so I put my hands together, got on the trusty internet, and started looking for recipes.

When I found these Traditional Maryland Crabcakes on Jen’s Use Real Butter I was sold. It seemed simple enough for a beginner like me, and (and that’s a very emphatic “and) it includes Old Bay seasoning. Old Bay is traditionally used in seafood boils/bakes all over America (or in the places that they have seafood boils/bakes, I'm not the expert) and, as such, not a part of my growing up at all. Hence, exotic and wildly attractive to my Eastern taste buds. I wasted no time in having some bought (when my mother was in New York) and I have been admiring the very dignified looking tin sitting stodgily in my pantry ever since.

Until now. Traditional Maryland Crabcakes. Old Bay. Zamboanga curacha. A touch of smokiness. A bit of heat. Yes, yes, and yes :)

Smoky Curacha Cakes
(adapted from this awesome crab cake recipe)

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • About 2/3 of a teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Optional: Dash of cayenne pepper (if you want it spicy…we did)
  • 300 grams curacha meat (or any crab meat)
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 3-4 tablespoons cheese cracker crumbs for coating
  • A couple of tablespoons canola oil or any vegetable oil that you use for frying
- In a bowl, mix the egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay, Worcestershire, paprika, and cayenne if using. Stir together until everything is incorporated.
- Add the curacha/crab meat and mix well.
- Stir in the bread crumbs. If the mixture looks too wet, you can add a little more crumbs just so that it holds together. It will be a fairly moist, but workable.
- Form into patties. Coat the patties in the cracker crumbs (I use Sunflower crackers, cheese flavor).
- Heat oil in a skillet. You want the oil to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. When the oil is hot place the patties in the pan and fry until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and brown the other side until cooked through. All in all about 8-10 minutes work. Makes 4-5 patties.

I served them here with and absolute favorite of mine, peas and pancetta, or, if my wallet protests, peas and bacon. My love for this dish is tremendous, and I will be sure to share some version of it, someday, on this blog. Today, however, is for curacha, crabcakes, and Old Bay.

I know if I say, at this point, that Old Bay and crabs go together like chocolate and hazelnut I would be 70 years late in the game. But better late than never right? I believe so! I’m starting to feel a clam bake or shrimp boil coming on! Unchartered territory, but I am bolstered by the success of these crabcakes. It is never too late to try something new, and don’t let being a newbie (or the fear of sounding like one) stop you from being as brightly enthusiastic as you wish. Cynics may sneer, but there are people (like me!) who will love you for it and invite you to all their parties! Happy weekend!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those look very scrumptious! I really love that mix of ingredients and the crispiness of the cakes.



MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Old Bay! Shades of my growing up especially while day was stationed along the Gulf coast.
That is a gorgeous crustacean on those peas!

Ling said...


Paz said...

Oh my! This looks and sounds really good!

Lula said...

still don't know what curacha is, but serve me some!

Miri Leigh said...

These look absolutely mouth-watering. Thanks for posting!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Rosa! :)

Hi Tanna! This is the first time I've ever used Old Bay, definitely not the last :)

Hi Ling! Hahaha! You are too funny!

Hi Paz! Thanks! We really enjoyed it!

Hi Lula! It's a type of crab found in the southern parts of the Philippines :) And it's delicious!

Hi Miri! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

Shalum said...

Yum! The crab meat is pre-cooked, right? Looks so delicious.

Chinkee said...

Those curacha cakes look PERFECT!:-).

Junglefrog said...

Well, I'll tell you a secret... I've never made crabcakes myself at home either.. O shock.. :) I do think your curacha cakes look delicious!

Anh said...

your crab cakes look so perfect!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Shalum! Yes, the crab meat is pre-cooked :) My father-in-law steams the curacha then freezes it before flying it to us.

Hi Chinkee! Thanks! It’s this recipe…so easy and good :)

Hi Junglefrog! I guess I am not alone! Thanks! :)

Hi Anh! Thank you :)

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

Hi there, thanks so much for taking time and commenting on my blog! Also thanks so much for reminding that there a gorgeous blog like yours that I just should NOT miss :-)
As you said on my blog about everyone's take on the same recipe in Indian as well as Filipino cuisine- isn't that the best part about cooking? Every person can experiment with the same ingredients and give the same dish their personal touch. I love it :-)

millet said...

whoa, never thought about curacha this way! these definitely look yummy!

Midge said...

These would be perfect for a lunch sandwich with lettuce and cucumber salad on ciabatta! So summery!

Miss Nutmeg said...

i love this recipe!

love cooking said...

Simple but delicious. Thinking to make burgers with these patties. Can't wait to try it. :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Prerna! Thank you for visiting and you are most welcome! I agree that is truly the best part of cooking :)

Hi Millet! Thanks! I would never have either but we had so much of it so it was time to get creative :)

Hi Midge! Yes, this would definitely make a great sandwich! Good for baon :)

Hi Miss Nutmeg! Thanks for dropping by :)

Hi love cooking! Tucked into a burger bun this would be a great alternative to a beef burger :)

kristina@beancakes ★ said...

oh yum yum! your blog is truly delicious!! and i love the looks of these little cakes!!
xx ~ ks

ChichaJo said...

Hi Kristina! Thanks so much for stopping by :)

the food dude said...

wow, these crabcakes look awesome! was always curious about Old Bay. Great photo!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Food Dude! :)

Randie said...

Oh word? Someone is making crab cakes who has actually heard of Old Bay?! Awesome!