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My mom loved crab cakes so much she’d sometimes lose count as she made batch after batch. I’d take advantage of the abundance and sneak one away every time I walked through the kitchen. She never said a word, but she must have known what was going on. What makes these crab cakes stand out is the combination of hot and sour flavours from the minced Thai chiles and bits of fresh green mango. I usually use equal parts lump and back fin.

makes 7 appetizer servings

the approach In the early months of summer, young green mangoes start showing up at the markets in India. These unripe mangoes have a distinctly sour, fruity taste and their flesh is tender, yet firm. Green mangoes are often used in Goan cuisine, especially with seafood. Fresh mango works very well with hot chiles, while the lemongrass, lime, and coriander brighten the flavours of the crab cakes even more.

Posted by Abrams Published See Abrams's 43 projects » © 2023 Nik Sharma / Chronicle Books · Reproduced with permission. · Season by Nik Sharma (Chronicle Books, £26.00). Photography by Nik Sharma.
  • Step 1

    In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, shallots, lemongrass, mango, cilantro, Thai chiles, and mustard. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a coarse powder and add to the crabmeat with the garam masala. Grate the lime zest and juice the whole lime. Add 1 tsp of the zest and 1 Tbsp of the juice to the crabmeat, discarding the remaining zest and juice. Add the salt and bread crumbs and mix gently to combine. Add the egg yolks and fold it into the crabmeat mixture. Divide the mixture into fourteen equal parts and shape into 2 in [5 cm] rounds, 1 in [2.5 cm] thick.

  • Step 2

    Heat 1 to 1½ Tbsp of oil in a medium cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Place four cakes in the skillet and cook until golden brown and crispy, 2½ to 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a plate and serve with the lime wedges and sauce, if desired.

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