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...
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)
around 50g milk or water
salt & pepper
dash cayenne pepper/paprika (optional)
squeeze lime or lemon juice
- 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.
- Chop 1/3 onion finely. In a small non-stick frying pan, heat up a little oil and fry the onion until translucent.
- 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.
- Add the crab mixture with the mashed potatoes and stir well to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
- Pour some golden breadcrumbs onto a small plate. Scoop the crab mixture to form two round ovals, and coat with the breadcrumbs.
- Heat up a little oil in the small frying pan, and lightly pan-fry the crab croquettes until golden.
- Remove, cool, and pack into your bento. (You can also put the croquette on top of some shredded lettuce, as in the photo)
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 cubesFor the Thai-style dressing (adjust quantities according to how much fruit and vegetables you have):
Pineapple, cut into small cubes (fresh or canned pineapple, drained of their syrup)
1/2 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
juice of 1 small lime
1/3 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- Mix all the above ingredients for the dressing, then add to the cucumber and pineapple.
- Add more sugar, fish sauce, lime juice to taste.
- Leave in the fridge for 10 mins - overnight.