Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes

And grilled watermelon never looked so good.

Over Labor Day weekend my husband had the yearning to buy some oysters. I remember the last time we did oysters this summer and he broke two of my oyster knives and luckily the third held up to his prying the shells open. Then on our trip to Nashville we stopped into a little kitchenware shop that was piled to the ceiling with all kinds of kitchen utensils; and I think the owner must have bought out every kitchen store in the state. He did have some unusual things and we found a professional quality oyster knife so this one should hold up for a while.

Before we get to the recipe I want to tell you about that worn out tray that the crab cakes are setting on just waiting to be fried. Ok, so go down and take a look. Now does that tray have a history for both of us. They were my grandmother’s tv trays.

As kids my sister and I spent EVERY Saturday night with our grandparents, afterall, they lived next door to us. Anyway, we could not eat or sit in the family room floor without sitting or laying on a blanket and of course our snacks/food had to be put on these trays, and that’s over 50 years ago and these trays are still around.  Even over the years when my husband would be there eating something in the family room, my grandmother would get out one of these trays for him to put his food on. When we cleaned out my grandmother’s things I knew that I wanted two things for sure, a couple of her handled brown chili bowls and also these TV trays.

I use these trays all the time. For things like holding these crab cakes and my husband and I actually eat off of these old beaten up trays all the time.

So, back to the recipe. We decided to make the Parmesan Crab Grilled Oysters that I posted before and I had almost the whole carton of crab left over and I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time that I found on Food Network. I think the next time I make these and I’m eating a little more sugar than I am now I will take some orange marmalade, mix with a little mayo and horseradish and make another dipping sauce. I have given you three sauce recipes.


Make sure you pick the crabmeat clean of shells.


Beautiful crabmeat.


Chop the green and white part of the onion into very thin slices.


Crabmeat, mayonnaise, onion, red bell pepper ginger and all the other seasonings.


Gently stir in the coconut and panko crumbs.


Gently form into patties. See I told you the tray was beat up. I think they have taken more of a beating now that I have them because I do not remember them looking this rough. I should put them away for safe keeping.


Ingredients for one of the sauces.


After refrigerating for a while they get a coating of coconut and panko before frying.


We threw a few slices of grilled watermelon on the plate for color and drizzled a little white balsamic over the melon.

Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes with Sweet Chili Mustard Sauce

(adapted from Emeril's recipe on Food Network


  • 1 lb. crabmeat drained and picked clean of shells
  • 3-4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. green onions sliced thin
  • 1/8 c. diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut divided
  • 1/2 c. +1 c. panko bread crumbs 1 cup for breading
  • 6 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • Sweet Chili Mustard Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • Lime Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 lime zested and juiced


  1. Put the cleaned, picked crabmeat in a large bowl. In another small bowl, beat the egg and add the mayonnaise, green onions, bell pepper, grated ginger root, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper and Worcestershire Sauce. Mix to combine all ingredients.  Add 1/2 cup coconut and 1/2 cup panko and gently fold in. Stir in the crab meat and mix gently so as not to break up the crab any more. Divide the mixture into 10-12 mounds and form into patties about 3-inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Put the patties on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.
  2. When you are ready to fry the crab cakes, combine the 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of panko in a shallow container. Lightly dredge the patties in the crumbs, shaking off any excess. Put 2 large nonstick skillets with over medium high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons of oil to each pan. When the pans are hot, place 4 patties in each pan. Turn the heat down to medium and fry the cakes until golden and heated through, turning once with a spatula to brown both sides, about 4 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer the crab cakes to plates, serving 2 to each person, accompanied by ramekins of sweet chili sauce and lime wedges.
  4. Lime Dipping Sauce:
  5. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  6. 2 tablespoons sugar
  7. 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  8. 2 tablespoons water
  9. 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro leaves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  11. 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemongrass, tender white part only
  12. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
  13. I added a little mayo to the above sauce and had a creamy sauce.
  14. Yield: about 1/2 cup
  15. Sweet Chili Mustard Sauce -- Mix all ingredients, refrigerate until ready to serve.
  16. Easy Lime Dipping Sauce -- Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and lime together. Refrigerate.
  17. Homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    December 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    You have a beautiful site. Those trays were meant to be used, don’t put them away!

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