Christmas means mangoes. This luscious, versatile fruit is delicious, and packed with health-giving vitamins and fibre. Try these crab cakes on for a festive feast with a tropical tang.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 tbsp Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1-2 tsp finely chopped red chilli, seeded
1/2 tsp sea salt
finely grated zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions, white and green parts
500g crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells, well drained
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
6 tbsp canola oil
60g unsalted butter
1/2 lebanese cucumber, sliced into thin rounds, and then into matchstick-size strips
fresh coriander sprigs to garnish
flaky sea salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel to garnish
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 Kensington Pride or R2E2 mango, pitted, peeled, cut into 5mm dice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1. To make the gastrique, heat a medium-heavy saucepan over medium heat for two minutes. Add the sugar and cook without stirring, tilting the pan as needed so that the sugar cooks evenly, for about five minutes, or until it melts into an amber caramel. Do not stir or the caramel will crystallise. Remove from the heat and stir in the mango (the caramel will seize), then the rice vinegar and lime juice. Return to medium heat and stir constantly for about five minutes, or until the mango is translucent and the caramel is dissolved and syrupy. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Season with salt.
2. To prepare the crab cakes, in a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, egg, fish sauce, ginger, coriander, sesame oil, chilli, salt and lime zest together, then whisk in the spring onions. Add the crabmeat and stir to coat, coarsely breaking apart the crabmeat, leaving small whole chunks in the mixture. Fold in the crumbs. Cover and refrigerate the crab mixture for 30 minutes so that the mixture is easier to form.
3. Using about a third of a cup of the crab mixture for each cake, shape into 12 x 2cm-thick crab cakes and place on a baking tray.
4. To cook the crab cakes, preheat the oven to 95C or 75C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with paper towels. Heat a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add three tablespoons of the canola oil and two tablespoons of the butter and heat until hot but not smoking. Working in two batches, fry six crab cakes for about two minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden, adjusting the heat as needed to brown evenly without scorching. Transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with paper towels and repeat with the remaining canola oil, butter, and six crab cakes.
5. To serve, place two crab cakes on each plate. Spoon some of the mango gastrique over and alongside the crab cakes. Top each with the cucumber and garnish with the coriander sprigs and sea salt.
The mango gastrique can be made up to one week ahead. The crab cakes can be made to step 3, up to eight hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.