Crab Cakes with Cilantro Peanut Sauce

I love all seafood, especially crab.  There is nothing like fresh steamed crab meat that you pick from the crab yourself. And then dip it in butter. Yum.  Getting good crab aside from catching it yourself can be difficult and expensive.  I will often eat the imitation crab meat they sell at grocery, but it’s just a substandard substitution for the real thing.
One day, I was walking by the seafood section thinking about getting the imitation crab when I saw several containers of lump crab meat.  Real crab meat! I grabbed it and put it in my basket without a real plan of something to make with it (maybe I would just eat it plain).  Then I got to checkout and was baffled when I had to sign for a high bill.  Crab meat is not in the budget of a college student.  I knew I had to make something delicious with this crab since I can’t buy it all the time.  I turned to one of my favorite seafood fare- the crab cake.  This time with a little Thai-like twist.
Adapted from Cooking Light

For Crab Cakes:
8 ounces lump crab meat, cooked
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro flakes
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg

For Cilantro Peanut Sauce:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon cilantro flakes


For Crab Cakes:
In a medium bowl, combine crab meat, lime juice, red pepper, cilantro, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Test crab mixture for taste.  Mix in egg. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Shape into 8 small patties.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Melt some butter in pan. Cook crab cakes in two batch for 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat with second batch. Keep warm.

For Cilantro Peanut Sauce:
In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil, stirring often.  Turn off heat and whisk in peanut butter.  Add cilantro and serve over crab cakes.

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