The Fish Taco Is King

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Thai Crab Cake Tacos with Green Papaya Carrot Slaw

Seafood • Tags: , , , , ,

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
Crab cakes
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.

Disclaimer: In exchange for participating in the start of this contest, Alaska Seafood provided us with a $25 gift certificate to a local grocer and $25 to Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill.

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20 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. girl these are fabulous!
    I have to try them!


  2. This sounds so full of flavor! I will be checking in to see the recipes you guys come up with, hopefully you win that trip to Alaska!


  3. loving that slaw, girl! Loove it. So refreshing. Great looking tacos.


  4. Wow, does this look amazingly delicious! The crunchiness got me – and the crab since I’m just crazy about it – but the flavors are fabulous! Thai flavors was so the way to go, giving a super original twist to something that is probably pretty darn good to start with. Adding that slaw is brilliant. Extra great recipe!


  5. Looks really good.


  6. Love both slaw and fish cake…the tacos look mouthwatering.


  7. I want to make those crabcakes for my husband! He would go nuts for them. I love your slaw too!


  8. Hmm fish tacos… Down here in Mexico I’ve tasted the best seafood tostadas and quesadillas, too. So many possibilities!


  9. This is how I’m FINALLY going to convince myself to like crab! I’m sure of it.


  10. This looks absolutely divine!


  11. Love this twist on a fish taco!


  12. Crab.Cake.Taco. Oooh yeah. . .


  13. I hate fish tacos but a crab cake taco? A THAI crab cake taco? I am all over that one! This would be a good crab cake on its own, but with the crispy slaw on a taco, even better!


  14. What a great blend of flavors. And love love love that you used crab! This one’s a winner in our book!


  15. Ooh. This looks fantastic. I am playing as well, although I am a bit later in the game. Delicious!


  16. Wow, this sounds amazing!


  17. Although, the crab tacos are the king of this story, I’m also love the coconut milk, peanut butter and a touch of fish sauce in the Green Papaya Carrot Slaw. Those are amazing tacos bursting with flavor.


  18. There crazy flavor in those fish tacos. I hope you win. We seek out fish tacos everywhere we go, so we’ll take four please.


  19. I am sooo not kidding when I say this; that is the best crab cake recipe I’ve ever seen. I love crab cakes and I love Thai and I have never thought to combine the two. I’ll be making these the next time I have a soiree. PS. You two honeys are due for a drip down south (San Diego!).


  20. This looks really good and I will try it out over the next few days for sure.


    Grandma Kat


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