We all have things we've liked eating since we were kids (pizza, French fries, souvlaki for me, in about that order of preference), and then there are some things we've never eaten in our lives and suddenly we discover and they become all-time favourites that we cook again and again. For me, these kind of things were mainly added to my diet when I left Greece and came to the hub of international cuisine called Britain (yes, I know most people would snigger at that, but seriously, it's way more advanced than my poor little homeland, and you CAN find pretty much everything you want either in specialised shops or online for any cuisine in the world!). One of the things I had never had in Greece was Thai food, which is now probably my top favourite cuisine, up there with Italian (find me 1 person in the world who doesn't like Italian, and I'll probably... spit on them, but trust me, that person doesn't exist!), and although you can find quite good restaurants in Britain, you can also now increasingly find Thai ingredients everywhere, from fish sauce to curry pastes, and from kaffir lime leaves to galangal.
I don't try to recreate Thai food at home much. We have a couple of good Thai favourites that we usually eat when we go out to Thai restaurants, and those are far too difficult to recreate (or rather look easy but fail miserably every time I've tried) but one of our latest favourites to make at home, especially when looking for something quick and light, and the fridge is empty, are these Thai crabcakes that I first spotted James Martin making in Saturday Kitchen (possibly one of my rare Saturday morning indulgences, if I manage to wake up early enough that is...).
If you've got some canned crabmeat, a potato or two and some stale bread and spices, that's about it, and they are amazingly lovely (I know potato is not very Thai in any way, but that's why I'm not calling them Thai!) and way way waaaaaaaaay better than any fishcakes or crabcakes or any other -cakes I've had in a Thai restaurant anywhere in the world (including Thailand!) So good, that we actually made them for our New Year Eve's dinner, while watching the fireworks falling over the London Eye on TV (chickenpox time, remember?)
Source: Adapted from James Martin
- 1 big potato (about 250g)
- 10g butter
- 1 tbsp double cream
- ½ tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 250g tinned Jumbo white crabmeat
- Fresh or dried breadcrumbs (optional)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Ready-made sweet chilli sauce
Peel the potato and chop it into small cubes. Place in a pot of cold water, with a pinch of salt, and boil until the cubes are tender and a knife easily goes through them (around 15-20 minutes). While the potatoes are boiling, flake the crabmeat, making sure there is no pieces of shell.
Drain, return to the pan, and mash as well as you can with a potato masher. Add the butter, double cream, curry, chilli and garlic powder, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mix in the crabmeat until fully incorporated, then shape into 4 balls, and flatten slightly. In a small plate spread the breadcrumbs and roll the crabcakes until covered on all sides.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the crabcakes, cooking them until they are golden on both sides (5 minutes each side). Serve with sweet chilli sauce and some salad leaves.