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Crab Cakes with Lemongrass Mayonnaise

Though chef Hans Röckenwagner makes homemade mayonnaise for this recipe; you can substitute 1 1/4 cups of jarred mayonnaise blended with 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass, from the tender white bulb, and 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger; let sit for 30 minutes.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 cup canola oil
  • One 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
pickled melon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups honeydew melon balls
crab cakes
  • 3 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups panko or coarse dry bread crumbs, plus more for coating
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a saucepan, combine the canola oil, ginger and lemongrass. Cook over moderately low heat until small bubbles appear around the side, 10 minutes. Let cool, then strain. In a blender or mini food processor, combine the mirin, rice vinegar, dry mustard and egg yolks; process until smooth. With the machine on, add the infused oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Season with salt and white pepper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vinegar, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, crushed red pepper and bay leaf and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. In a heatproof bowl, carefully toss the melon balls with the brine and let cool.
  3. In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the lemongrass mayonnaise, the scallions, basil, cilantro and the 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs. Add the crab and season with salt and white pepper. Pat the mixture into 8 cakes about 3/4 inch thick; coat with bread crumbs. Set the cakes on a wax paper-lined plate.
  4. In a nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, 6 minutes; drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining butter, oil and crab cakes. Set 2 crab cakes on each plate and add a dollop of the mayonnaise. Discard the bay leaf from the melon balls and serve in small bowls.
Contributed By Photo © Michael Weschler Published March 2003

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