UPC’s Chia Crab Cakes
I’ve been getting more and more in to using Chia as a binding ingredient. It’s really amazing stuff! I have a small batch of Mango Chia Pudding settling in the fridge at home right now. Of course, chia by itself has virtually no flavor; it’s easily overpowered (and should be) by other ingredients. But it’s other properties make it an interesting, exciting ingredient to work with. Aside from it’s awesome health benefits, chia does some really cool things when it’s used in the various recipes I’ve seen. It builds a little gel around itself with the ambient water in the mixture. I’ve used this property to make delicious, effective sports drinks (yes, I’ll share that eventually!), pudding, and now today I am using it for my first time in a heated recipe.
Chia is making an appearance here in today’s recipe for the primary purpose of thickening and binding the crab cakes. It’s somewhat of a substitute for eggs in this recipe, though I didn’t really intend for that; it’s enough different that this becomes a very different recipe, and dealing with the crab cake has to be different as well. The chia tastes different, it has a different texture, and it cooks differently. Fortunately, though, it’s still very similar. And delicious!
Chia Crab Cakes; What you’ll need:
- 1 lb Crab Meat (I used Chicken of the Sea “fresh” canned crab from Trader Joe’s – I’m quite impressed that they’re carrying it now!)
- 1 cup Basil Stems, chopped and sauteed (I buy fresh basil, and always look for great ways to use the stems! This recipe will work well by substituting onions, shallots, chives, or garlic stalks too)
- 3 tablespoons Chia, mixed with 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Coconut oil for cooking (Actually, I used bacon grease; YUM!)
Serves: 3-4 (Or just one if you’re really hungry… 🙂 )
Cook and prep time: 35 minutes (20, if you don’t use the Basil Stems, and use something else instead)
1. Finely chop the basil stems, then saute them to soften them and bring out their flavor. This will work well with almost any root vegetable.
Note: use as little oil as you can manage.
2. Add the water and chia to the saute pan as soon as the cooking has finished. The heat will speed up the time it takes for the chia to bind everything.
3. Mix the chia in thoroughly, then let it sit for a few minutes until it is a thick pudding-like consistency. Add this to your mixing bowl.
4. Add the crab meat, turmeric, and salt, and mix thoroughly.
5. In a small round-bottom container (most people can use a short drinking glass for this) press the crab-cake mixture in to the bottom and tamp it down thoroughly. Now carefully peel the crab cake out of the glass and set it aside while you make the others.
Note: Be sure to use a see-thru cup. I like my crab-cakes thick. It is easiest to control the thickness of your final product when using a see-thru cup.
6. Cook these for 2-3 minutes per side in a well greased no-stick pan.
Now serve and enjoy!!
- Do you use chia a lot?
- Have you cooked a hot recipe with chia yet?
- Have you tried a sports drink or pudding with chia yet?
- What other ways do you make your crab-cakes?
- Do you prefer them thickened with some sort of flour?
- What other flavor ingredients do you prefer in your crab cakes?