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Crab cakes that stay crunchy

January 15, 2003

Dear SOS: The best crab cakes I have ever tasted are from the Boathouse on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. Can you obtain the recipe?

Karen Ayling

Sherman Oaks

Dear Karen: This recipe calls for panko, Japanese bread crumbs. Look for them at Asian markets. They keep their crunch and make a light coating for the crab cakes when fried in the clarified butter.

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Crab cakes

Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

1 egg

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound crab meat

2 cups panko, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1. Beat the egg, lemon juice, mayonnaise, seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper until smooth. Gently fold in the crab, then 1 1/2 cups of the panko; do not break up crab. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

2. Form into 8 cakes, then coat with the remaining one-half cup of panko.

3. To clarify the butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Skim off the foam and pour off the butter, discarding any milky water on the bottom.

4. Brown the crab cakes in the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat until golden, 2 to 3 minutes a side. Work in batches. The cakes can be kept in a warm oven until served.

Each serving: 266 calories; 967 mg. sodium; 88 mg. cholesterol; 16 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 0.06 gram fiber.

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