• 6 medium raw shrimp, shelled, washed and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 1 lb. fresh lump crab meat, picked over for cartilage
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup chopped scallion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 fresh chili, preferably Thai, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs, preferably fresh
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour , for dredging
  • Peanut or vegetable oil , as needed, (about 2-4 cups)
  • Lime wedges , for serving


1. Purée shrimp in a food processor (smaller is better) until you have a smooth paste, or chop and mash by hand. Add fish sauce. In a bowl, mix the shrimp purée, crab meat, egg, scallion, cilantro, chili, ginger and salt and pepper; add just enough bread crumbs to stiffen mixture a bit. Refrigerate mixture until you are ready to cook; it will be easier to shape into cakes if you refrigerate it for 30 minutes or more.
2. Season flour with salt and pepper. Film bottom of a large skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. Shape crab meat mixture into cakes 1 inch thick and as wide as you want. Dredge each in flour, and cook, adjusting heat as necessary and turning once (very gently), until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes a side. Serve with lime wedges.




Mark Bittman


4 servings