Island Crabcakes with Vanilla–Grapefruit Remoulade

These delicious crabcakes can be served for brunch, lunch or dinner.




MAKES 24–30

1     large (225-275g) red grapefruit (for remoulade, crabcakes and garnish)
1     (30g) shallot, peeled and chopped
1     garlic clove, peeled and chopped
½     cup (120ml) mayonnaise
¾     tsp vanilla paste
½     tsp runny honey
1     tbsp (15g) Dijon mustard
⅛     tsp pimentón smoked paprika
1     tsp parsley, finely chopped/minced

2     cups (250 g) crabmeat, picked and free of shell, squeezed dry
2     Tbsp (30 ml) grapefruit juice
1     tsp grapefruit zest
3     eggs, large, beaten
½     cup (120 ml) mayonnaise
1     tsp vanilla paste
1     tsp Dijon mustard
1     tsp pimentón smoked paprika
1     Tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1     tsp hot sauce
⅓     cup (80g) red onion, finely chopped
¼     cup (40 g) red bell pepper/capsicum, finely     chopped
¼     cup (40 g) parsley, finely chopped
1½     cups (175 g) panko dry breadcrumbs
oil for frying

Vanilla–grapefruit remoulade
Zest grapefruit and set aside. Using a small knife, cut top and bottom off grapefruit and slice the peel away from sides in a downward motion until all the pith has been removed. Hold the fruit over a bowl to catch the juice and using a small knife separate the segments from the membrane, allowing the segments to fall into the bowl. Squeeze the remaining juice from the membrane into the bowl. You should have enough juice for both recipes.

In a small bowl, mix chopped shallot and garlic into mayonnaise. Mix in remaining ingredients plus 2 tsp of grapefruit juice and 1 tsp of zest from the grapefruit, combining well. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Reserve remaining zest and grapefruit segments in juice for crabcakes and garnish.

In a small bowl, combine crabmeat, 2 tbsp of grapefruit juice and 1 tsp zest. Mix well. In a medium bowl blend remaining ingredients (except breadcrumbs). Gently fold crab into egg mixture, then sprinkle in breadcrumbs and a few grinds of salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Shape into small 60-g/2-oz patties and place on a clingfilm-/plastic wrap-covered plate. Chill for 1 hour.

Warm frying pan/skillet to medium heat and flick in a little water from your fingers – if it sizzles the pan is ready. Coat pan with a thin film of oil, then add the crabcakes a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook 3–5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To Serve
Chop about 6 grapefruit segments into small pieces and gently stir into chilled remoulade sauce. Serve with the crabcakes.

Tips and Ideas

Seafood: For this dish, I used delicate paddle crab (also known as swimmer crab), found in the waters around New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. For best flavour and sustainability, use locally caught crustaceans, or substitute other local fish such as ling, cod, halibut or locally caught scallops. These dairy-free small-bite crabcakes are perfect for parties and easy to make.

Pairing: Serve with vanilla–grapefruit remoulade and your favourite rosé or Champagne.

Grapefruit: If grapefruit is not for you, substitute a large thin-skinned juice orange. Follow the same method but add a few drops of lime juice for tartness.

Pimenton: Pimentón is a Spanish smoked paprika that adds a bit of smoky, spicy heat to dishes. It can be found in most large supermarkets and gourmet shops.

Panko: Instead of panko, you can also use gluten-free rice crumbs.


Recipes reprinted with permission from Jacqui Small LLP, part of the Quarto Publishing Group, 2015. Photographs © Manja Wachsmuth, 2013. This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.