A Sustainable Twist on Crab Cakes

Valentine’s Day … go out? Stay in? Me, I prefer to stay in and usually cook something extravagant like Alaskan king crab legs, or whole Maine lobster … not that going out isn’t fun, but to be honest, I’d rather buy one (or two, maybe three, I mean who am I kidding) bottles of extraordinary wine and cook a meal I don’t always have time to cook during the week. And this year, I have a new recipe courtesy of Table by Market District’s Executive Chef Sous Chef Josh Arnold—Surf Cakes.

Surf cakes: a sustainable take on traditional crab cakes

Surf Cakes are similar to crab cakes only the recipe calls for other types of seafood—salmon and shrimp—in addition to crab. What I really love about this, other than flavor, is that the recipe Chef Arnold created uses secondary sections of seafood to make his masterpiece. Think about it like this … you have a rather large salmon fillet but after you cut it into serving-sized portions, you have a few ounces left and you don’t want to throw it away … same goes for any left over shrimp that maybe weren’t quite big enough to skewer, and the crab meat that wasn’t quite big enough to make it into the crab cocktail. So by “secondary” I don’t mean “lesser quality,” but I do mean seconds … because it’s what’s leftover. Make sense? And of course any recipe incorporating food that might otherwise go to waste is a good thing. A very, very good thing.

So head on over to Market District, pick up the ingredients and maybe one (or two or three, I won;t judge) bottles of wine and be ready to impress your love with these stellar surf cakes. Note, if you’d rather go out, Table at Market District is an absolutely lovely (get the pun?) restaurant and their Valentine’s dinner menu features surf cakes as well as surf and turf, a tomahawk steak for two, and many other specials. Reservations are recommended. All photos courtesy Dittoe PR.

SURF CAKES recipe courtesy Table by Market District Executive Sous Chef Josh Arnold
1 Tbsp cilantro leaves (chopped)
1/2 oz unsalted butter (melted)
4 1/2 oz panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
3 1/2 oz raw shrimp shell-off, tail-off, (chopped)
3 1/2 oz crab claw meat
4 1/2 oz salmon, cooked and flaked
1 egg, cracked and whipped
4 Tbl, oil
1 Tbl, red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbl, yellow bell pepper, diced
1 lemon, zested
2 green onion, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Mix all ingredients (retain 2 oz of breadcrumbs).
  • If the consistency of the mix is to wet, mix in some more breadcrumbs.  If the consistency of the mix is to dry, add a bit more egg.
  • Mold small cakes and press additional breadcrumbs on to the exterior of the cakes.
  • Heat medium saute pan to medium-high heat, add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the surf cakes in the oil.
  • Fry the cakes till a golden brown on one side, turn over and brown again.
  • Remove from the pan and place on a foil lined sheet tray.
  • Place cakes in oven and cook till 165F degrees internal temperature.
  • Once cakes are fully cooked remove from oven and serve with your favorite sauce.

Coming up NEXT on the blog … perfect oven-baked salmon part three and lobster thermidor.

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.