Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crab Croquette and Pineapple Salsa

crab bento
The 3rd bento of the "One Week of Pineapple" series! Presenting a crab croquette and pineapple salsa bento... Actually, I couldn't decide if the crab was a crab cake or crab croquette, but as I added mashed potatoes, it is more like a croquette. As it is only lightly pan-fried, it is healthier than the usual deep fried croquette. The pineapple salsa is made with pineapple and cucumber in a thai- style dressing. This dressing is the basis of a lot of Thai salads, and is very versatile.

Update: My One Week of Pineapple bento series only lasted 3 days...I ran out of bento friendly pineapple ideas - ie. I didn't really want to eat cold red duck pineapple curry and my other idea of a pineapple baked ham disappeared after I couldn't find any gammon ham in the supermarket to bake...

Continue reading...

Pan-fried Crab Croquette
Adjust quantities according to how many crab croquettes you wish to make. This is the rough estimate for 2 large crab croquettes.
4 small baby potatoes, or 2 medium sized potatoes
100-150g fresh crab meat or good quality canned crab meat (I used Phillips brand)
1/3 onion
around 50g milk or water
golden breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
dash cayenne pepper/paprika (optional)
squeeze lime or lemon juice
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into smaller chunks. Boil in a saucepan until soft (around 10 - 15 mins). Drain away the water and mash, adding a little milk or water to soften the mash. Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop 1/3 onion finely. In a small non-stick frying pan, heat up a little oil and fry the onion until translucent. 
  3. Add the crab meat and fry on low heat. Add salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper/paprika (optional). Squeeze a little lime or lemon juice on top. If you are making the pineapple salsa as well, you can also add a bit of the salsa dressing here.
  4. Add the crab mixture with the mashed potatoes and stir well to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. 
  5. Pour some golden breadcrumbs onto a small plate. Scoop the crab mixture to form two round ovals, and coat with the breadcrumbs. 
  6. Heat up a little oil in the small frying pan, and lightly pan-fry the crab croquettes until golden. 
  7. Remove, cool, and pack into your bento. (You can also put the croquette on top of some shredded lettuce, as in the photo)
Decoration Tip:
Turn the crab croquette into a crab decoration by adding baby carrots for legs and crab claws, and dig two holes for eyes. Cut out a little triangle from the end of two baby carrots for crab claws, and cut three baby carrots into half lengthwise for the legs.

Pineapple Salsa (with Thai-style dressing)
Cucumber, cut into small cubes
Pineapple, cut into small cubes (fresh or canned pineapple, drained of their syrup)
For the Thai-style dressing (adjust quantities according to how much fruit and vegetables you have):
1/2 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
juice of 1 small lime
1/3 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  1. Mix all the above ingredients for the dressing, then add to the cucumber and pineapple.
  2. Add more sugar, fish sauce, lime juice to taste.
  3. Leave in the fridge for 10 mins - overnight.
This dressing is very versatile and can be used for many Thai salads. It contains the basis of Thai cooking, with its 4 tastes - sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. I've added less sugar in this version as the pineapple is already quite sweet.


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