Crab Cake Sliders with Kimchi
If you’re an Oregonian I don’t need to explain anything to you about Rogue Brewery, but to my Wisconsin readership- should you ever happen upon a bottle of their Hazelnut Brown Nectar in your parts, it is recommended that you set aside your fierce (and justified) loyalties, just for a moment, and snatch it up quick. Besides being one of Oregon’s most beloved local breweries, Rogue also serves pretty solid bar fare at their brick-and mortar pubs. Really- their tots are no joke. These crab cake sliders are inspired by my favorite small plate at my neighborhood’s Rogue pub. In creating this recipe, I am keeping with their simple concept of crab cakes, kimchi, and mayo on sweet rolls. However, sorry-not-sorry, Rogue… mine win big, hands-down.
You see, while there are certainly occasions for the imitation stuff, you just cannot beat fresh, lump dungeness crab. We’re doing this right, food-fans. A truly great slider is like an amouse-bouche. It must have, in its tiny package, all flavor groups represented to achieve maximum tantalization. The kimchi brings tang, spice, and funk, aided by the salty umami flavor in the fish sauce- and it’s all hugged together by the sweetness of the Hawaiian rolls and the high-quality dungeness crab.
The cakes themselves are worthy of standing all alone (and they certainly shall in my future, with a dipping sauce)- crunchy and light and true perfection. Please look away as I self-five a thousand times, and proceed to the recipe below.
- 2 egg whites
- 1 T. fish sauce
- 1 T. fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. finely chopped cilantro
- 2 T. corn starch
- 8 oz. lump dungeness crab, squeezed and drained
- 1 c. panko bread crumbs, divided
- canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 12 Hawaiian rolls
- cilantro leaves
- In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg whites. Whisk in fish sauce, ginger, scallion, cilantro, and corn starch.
- Add 1/4 c. of the panko and the crab meat to the bowl, and gently fold together until just combined. Chill in the refrigerator 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, separate the rolls and slice in half. Set aside.
- Fill a large, deep saute pan with 1/2" of oil and heat to medium high.
- Pour remaining 3/4 c. panko onto a plate or shallow dish.
- Retrieve crab mixture and divide into 12 blobs. To form the cakes roll each blob into a ball, place on top of panko plate, and cover with a handful of panko. Gently press down to form a patty and adhere the panko to the top and bottom. Put on a plate and continue.
- When all cakes are formed and oil is hot, fry in batches of 3 or 4 until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
- To assemble, spread a thin layer of mayo on the bottom halves of the rolls. Layer cilantro leaves on next, then crab cake, then a fork-full of kimchi, and the bun-tops. Eat them while they're hot!