For the next four months, Alaska Seafood is celebrating the fish taco. They’ve invited us, along with a few other food bloggers, to join in. The next few months will feature posts filled with many new fish taco creations, some fun recipe contests, and a few exciting giveaways all leading up to one lucky blog winning a trip to the great land of Alaska when it’s all said and done. The grand prize is the main reason we decided to hop on board. We hope to be that winning blog and are eager to share our first of five installments featuring our different spins on the mighty fish taco.
Challenge #1: Our mission was to create the “Best Fish Taco Crab Recipe” for a chance at winning a prize pack of Alaska king crab courtesy of Alaska Seafood. My initial thought was to make a crab cake taco. We love crab cakes and have a couple different recipes of them on the blog, most notable being our indulgent Crab and Shrimp Burger. We both liked the idea of a crab cake, but didn’t know where to take it from there. Then, Chrystal had the genius idea of infusing Thai flavors into the taco, such as fish sauce, Thai chives and basil, ginger, cilantro, lemongrass, sriracha, and lime to name a few. A Thai-style crab cake sounded perfect. We decided to top it off with a green papaya slaw in a spicy coconut peanut sauce. So, off I went to one of the many Asian supermarkets in the area and racked up on these specific Thai ingredients. If you wish to make this on your own, you should be able to find the majority of the items on the list at any large grocery store. This recipe uses a number of very specific ingredients that may be hard to find for some. Thai chives or Thai basil specifically can be substituted with traditional chives and a tiny bit of Mediterranean sweet basil, respectively, although the latter does have a different flavor. Unripened, green papaya adds a tart crunch to the slaw, similar to that of cabbage, which will work in the crab cake topping. Definitely do your best, however, to hunt down these Thai specialties, so you’ll get the most authentic Thai flavor possible. Here’s hoping our recipe makes an impact with Alaska Seafood. It’s already a winner in our book!
Thai Crab Cake Tacos with Green Papaya Carrot Slaw – Makes 6 tacos
1 pound fresh lump crab meat or 18 ounces canned lumb crab meat, drained
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons chopped Thai chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 Thai chili, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Thai basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon sriracha
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup canola oil
Corn tortillas, warm
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 Thai chili, with seeds
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 teaspoon fresh chopped lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped scallion
1 tablespoon chopped Thai chives
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 pound green papaya, peeled, seeded and shredded
2 large carrots, shredded
3 tablespoons roasted salted peanut, roughly chopped
1. Mix all crab cake ingredients together, except the oil, in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Shape into six patties, about 3 inches wide and 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with extra panko crumbs. Set side.
2. In a large, pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully place three crab cakes into the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Let crab cakes cool on a paper towel-lined plate until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining crab cakes. Meanwhile, heat tortillas as desired.
3. For the slaw, place the papaya, carrots and peanuts in a medium bowl. Using a food processor, blend all of the remaining ingredients until smooth. Start with half of the sauce, pouring over the papaya, carrots and peanuts. Toss until evenly incorporated, adding more if you prefer a wetter slaw.
4. To assemble, cut one crab cake in half lengthwise and carefully line the pieces in a warm tortilla, top with green papaya and carrot slaw and any additional sauce. Serve warm with lime wedges.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.