Crab Cake with Grapefruit, Fennel, Avocado and Mache

Crab Cakes, Grapefruit, Fennel, Avocado, & Mache

Crab Cakes

  • 1 lb lump crab meat

  • 1/3 cup Aioli (or mayonnaise)

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp fish sauce

  • 10 dashes Tabasco sauce

  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper, ground

  • 1 ½ cup Panko bread crumbs

  • 8 fl oz clarified butter

  • 1 cup flour

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Gently pick through crab meat, removing any shell fragments. Place in a fine mesh sieve over a container and store in the refrigerator to drain (about 10 minutes).

  3. Meanwhile, whisk together all other ingredients (except breadcrumbs, clarified butter and flour).

  4. Gently fold in crab and breadcrumbs into dressing until incorporated. Store and refrigerate for an hour.

  5. Divide mixture evenly into 8 portions and form crab cakes. Refrigerate crab cakes for about 1 hour to firm.

  6. In a large cast iron pan over medium heat, melt 4 fl oz of clarified butter. Dredge 4 crab cakes in flour and shake excess. Gently place in pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Discard used clarified butter and carefully clean pan with paper towels. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining clarified butter and four crab cakes.

  7. Place all crab oven and warm through (approximately 3-5 minutes) to finish cooking.cake

  8. Season with salt and dry over paper towels to remove excess grease.

Segmented Grapefruit

  • 1 grapefruit

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of each grapefruit. Place flat on cutting board. In a downward motion, slice away the pith (the white skin between the grapefruit and peel) following the natural shape of the grapefruit.

  2. While holding the skinned grapefruit in your hand, gently insert a paring knife between each grapefruit segment to remove it from the core.

  3. Store in a plastic container and refrigerate.

Shaved Fennel & Grapefruit Salad

  • 1 fennel bulb

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 Grapefruit, segmented

  1. Cut top of fennel bulb, leaving roughly 3-4 inches of bulb, reserving the fronds for garnish. Fully insert the blade of a paring knife into the bottom center of the fennel core. In a corkscrew motion, twist the knife to remove the core while keeping the bulb intact.

  2. Place the bottom of the bulb against the mandolin and shave in paper thin slices. Submerge in ice water to crisp (about 15 minutes).

  3. Drain fennel from ice water, and pat dry with paper towels. In a large mixing bowl gently fold in all ingredients.

  4. Store in a plastic container and refrigerate.  Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Grapefruit Emulsion

  • 5 fl oz grapefruit juice

  • 1 Tbsp grapefruit zest, grated

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 Tbsp Tupelo honey

  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

  • 2 fl oz olive oil

  1. Place all ingredients (except olive oil) in a blender and mix until incorporated (about five seconds).

  2. With blender running on high speed, slowly pour in oil to emulsify.

  3. Store in a plastic container and refrigerate.

Avocado Crème Fraiche

  • 1 Florida avocado

  • 2 oz fresh lime juice

  • 1 tsp cumin, ground

  • 1 tsp coriander, ground

  • 1 tsp fennel  seed, ground

  • ½ tsp white pepper, ground

  • ½ cup Crème Fraiche

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, whole

  • 1 garlic clove

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds).  

  2. Add more Crème Fraiche if necessary to reach desired consistency.

  3. Store in plastic container and refrigerate.


  • Avocado Crème Fraiche

  • 4 cups Mache

  • Grapefruit Emulsion

  • Shaved Fennel & Grapefruit Salad

  • Crab Cakes

Mound 2 Tbsp of Avocado Crème Fraiche on each of the 8 serving plates. Using the back of a spoon, drag mixture to create a swoosh design. In a mixing bowl, toss Mache in 2 oz of Grapefruit Emulsion and plate over the left side of the Avocado Crème Fraiche. To the right of the Avocado Crème Freche, place about a ¼ cup of Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit Salad. Finish by leaning a Crab Cake against the Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit Salad.

Chefs Note: Mache is a tender salad green but can be substituted with any of your favorite lettuces.

John Minas