I had a little experiment today. Entranced by Amanda Hesser’s description of making crabcakes with her grandmother in Cooking for Mr Latte, and by Erik’s story of eating what have been dubbed the second best crabcakes in the world on his recent business trip to DC, I set out to make my own. I love crabcakes, but have never succeeded in making good ones, and crabmeat is too expensive for frequent attempts. Well, I do have a little extra cash now, but my fridge is so full of leftovers from Daddo’s recent visit that I couldn’t bear the thought of a trip to the market. So instead of crabcakes, I made fishcakes, using the leftover Whole Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce we’d had a few days ago at China Islamic Restaurant.

I don’t know what kind of fish it was, but getting the meat off the bones was an easy task for once. Then I mixed it with a beaten egg, mayonnaise, and some freshly grated crumbs from a loaf I’d baked Sunday night. After shaping, I refrigerated the patties for a little more than an hour, then followed Hesser’s useful tip of coating them with fine cracker crumbs before frying. She says the crumbs help keep the crabmeat from getting tough on the fried outside edge, and it certainly worked with the fish. I fried the cakes in olive oil and a bit of butter, and they held together well and browned nicely. They were pleasantly textured, perfectly seasoned and completely delicious, though that’s less a testament to my skills than to those of the cook who’d made that delicious fish and sauce in the first place.


Fat little things, aren’t they?

Erik and I have made a deal: next time he visits, we’ll try crabcakes with actual crab meat. And I’ll use the cracker crumb trick again because I do think it made a big difference.

Want to know something crazy? Aside from the baked doughnuts I made for my cohort on Wednesday morning, I haven’t baked at all this week, and I haven’t eaten any dessert, even though I went out to dinner three times and have been reading a lot about food. And I’m doing okay–no withdrawal symptoms yet, though I do now have a fairly strong urge to try out the lemon sablé recipe in Hesser’s book. Just as well I’m out of lemons.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]