I’m pretty much a fan of all things fried. I say ‘pretty much’ because it doesn’t matter how you prepare ’em, I refuse to eat bugs of any kind or oysters. The former because the idea freaks me out, the latter because I hate the flavour of oysters. Ick. For a girl who eats everything my ‘no-can-do’ list is pretty short, but for anything else, I’ll do it. I’ve even been known to eat fish eyeballs and chicken’s feet are a regular on the menu when we go out for dim sum.
Anyway, we’re getting off-topic here. Fried food. Delicious, gorgeous, crunchy fried food. What’s not to love?
A while back I read on Chubby Hubby’s blog that he had found the most amazingly beautiful creamy crab croquettes so of course I bookmarked it immediately, earmarked for consumption. Then I forgot all about it. That is until the other day when I was browsing through my (many) food links and decided, heck, enough time had passed, it was now summer – I was ready to tackle the crab croquettes.
I adjusted the seasonings a little, adding a little chilli to the final mix, and although my first few were definitely a frying failure (burnt, burnt, underdone, underdone, underdone) after that I managed to get into the swing of things. I took one bite and despite the fact that the panko was a little too crispy (aka. burnt) my mouth literally exploded. Okay, not literally. That’d be ridiculous. But helloooo mouth orgasm. Holy majoly. My photos do NOT do it justice at all. It was amazing. It was all I could do to stop myself from eating all ten before Momma Lee got home. She took one bite and fell in love too, as did Brother and my bestie Jun (of the great brownie fail), whom I invited over for dinner (I made copious amounts of food that day). Also, apologies for not taking more photos, but as you can imagine these disappeared into our mouths so quickly there just simply wasn’t enough time.
If you try one recipe this week, make it this one. You won’t regret it. Just please use fresh crab meat – it makes all the difference. Om-nom-nom…
CREAMY CRAB CROQUETTES
Originally adapted from Mark Robinson’s Izakaya, the Japanese pub cookbook
Makes 10 small-ish croquettes
130g fresh crabmeat
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste
30g unsalted butter
360ml whole milk, warmed
1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saute the onion until lightly browned. Set aside.
2. In a small to medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. When the flour and butter are combined, place back over a low fire and cook, stirring constantly for 1-2 mins. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring in order to eliminate lumps and to make a smooth, thick bechamel. Keep stirring over low heat for 5-10 mins until thickened (about the consistency of a thick mustard). Set aside.
3. In the large frying pan with the onion, add the crabmeat and cook over medium heat for a few mins. The goal is to cook off as much moisture as possible. Add the boiled egg and the white sauce. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Stir well. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
4. Spread the mixture on the bottom of a flat rectangular pan. Cover with plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for an hour or so. You want the mixture quite cold when you make the croquettes.
5. When chilled, prepare three bowls, one with flour, one with a beaten egg, and one with panko. Using a spoon, quickly divide the mixture into 10 equal portions. Then scoop each portion out one at a time, quickly pat into a small, round cake, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg and then coat with panko. Repeat this with all the croquettes. You can prepare ahead of time, in which case put these in the fridge in a tupperware box lined with greaseproof paper until you’re ready to fry them.
6. To fry, preheat the oil to approximately 180 degrees C. Slip the croquettes into the oil and deep fry, without disturbing, until golden brown. Gently transfer the croquettes onto a wire rack and then serve immediately.
7. Consume and die happy.
There you have it. The recipe that’ll make your mouth explode (not literally). More to come over the next few days (boom-shaka-laka) so until then, peace and love.