Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thai-ish crawfish cakes w/ banana bread crumbs

Why have so many people forgotten what bread crumbs are all about? We seem to live in a world where people throw out stale bread but head to the store to buy bread crumbs in a can or worse yet "seasoned" bread crumbs in a can. Not using stale bread is a waste and missed opportunity and I would include in that category crackers, cake, cookies, chips of all kinds (potato and tortilla especially) donuts (I made awesome apple fritters using dehydrated day-old glazed donuts) and all other types of flour based goods.

A while back I found myself with an aging loaf of banana bread, and being the cheap fucker that I am, I needed to find a use for it. I broke it up and threw it in the oven to dehydrate it. It didn't take long to come up with something. How could crab cakes, Thai-style, with banana bread crumbs be bad. They weren't. I fact they were fantastic.

Having found myself with an abundance of banana bread once again, I decided to recreate that recipe...well kinda'. I didn't have any crab meat but I did have some frozen crawfish tail meat. I also didn't have any homemade curry paste in the freezer (See my post about homemade curry pastes here) so I needed to make a quick simple one. Certainly you could buy a canned one. They work well but if you're fortunate enough to have access to galagal, lemon grass and lime leaves, you can make a nice one at home. I made one with those ingredients along with, dried arbol chiles, garlic, green onions, cumin, coriander and fish sauce pureed with water in the blender. Is it any traditional style? No. Does it taste good? Yes and it only took 5 minutes to prepare.

The rest is also simple. Mix your crawfish meat (or crab meat or shrimp or any other seafood type thing) with the dried and ground banana bread crumbs, your curry paste, an egg and anything else you want. Mix it all together and form it into patties. Now cover those babies in panko. I know, how can I possibly rant about store bought bread crumbs and then suggest panko? Panko rules! They're unique and there isn't really a replacement for them. Now just fry them up. you can refrigerate them to firm them up first if your afraid they will break up in the pan.

Hopefully, next time you find yourself with some stale, overcooked or aging baked goods you wont just throw them away but instead let them guide your creativity.


Diane said...

Damn you. Now I have to bake a few loaves of freakin' bannana bread.

Great to see you posting again.

Cooking Asshole said...

what a great use of leftovers! Thanks again SpiceHound!

Stacey said...

I'm such a failure at crab-cakes. I try to be a purist and use almost nothing but the meat, and then they always fall apart.

This sounds great, it's always a good time to make some more curry paste :D

Jackie Ewing said...

All this food on your blog looks so amazing! I’m not sure if you have a lot more healthy recipes of your own that you make, but if you do, you should send them into this contest I know of that’s making its way around the country. It’s coming to Cleveland on September 25-26th! I noticed your recipe and thought you would be interested. You could get great exposure for your recipes and meet celebrity cooks (Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Sara Moulton, or Cat Cora). All you have to do is go to to submit one of your healthy recipes. Deadline to sign up for Cleveland is September 8th so hurry! Good luck if you decide to enter, and if not, keep posting! :)

Brad said...

Really smart use of what you have around! I wish I did more of that kind of thinking!

ergozum said...

Spicehound, you still here?


I'm still here! I was thinking about a new post today since it's been a year. We'll see.

Stella said...

Breadcrumbs come in a can? I've had a couple emergencies in the past 20 years where I've bought them at the bakery instead of using my own but seriously - throw stale toasted bread in the processor - they freeze forever.
See you at Coit Saturday!