The village I live in is blessed with two Indian restaurants, two Chinese take-aways, an Italian restaurant and a whole host of other food based shops and cafés so I’m not exactly short of choices.
However, I had been working hard all week and had just been paid so I splashed out on some chicken and sweet corn soup (so yummy that it could develop into an MSG addiction), a carton of egg fried rice and some tasty sounding king prawns in garlic, ginger and spring onion. To this I ordered a portion of salty crispy seaweed for a bit of green crunch. Of course I went for the banana fritters too, one simply has to. It’s not a Chinese take-away without nana fritters, so sweet they make your teeth itch. The soup was very nice in a piping hot way and I ate about half the free bag of prawn crackers that came with it. The Happy Garden take-away place I go to in the village always go a bit mad with the onions so the ‘king prawns in garlic and spring onion’ should have had the warning ‘bulked out with lots of onions’ added to the listing. The bill came to about thirteen pounds and as a little reward for my hard work I felt it was worth it.
After my meal there was quite a lot of rice left and an equal amount of crispy seaweed and I was determined not to just throw them away. I also intended to use a cooked crab that I had purchased from Tesco the following day and thought that the three items would go well together.
Monday is one of my days off and after spending the day shopping in Nottingham city centre I came home late afternoon and got cracking on preparing the meal by pulling the crab apart. This was a first for me and I checked out a few videos on the internet to get an idea what to do. I was surprised that the crab meat was mostly an orangey brown colour with the white meat in the claws.
Inspired by a glass of red wine from my neighbour I decided to make crab fish cakes with some mashed potato. Never made them before so I improvised by mashing the potatoes and mixing in the crab meat. Foolishly I thought that would suffice in binding the mixture together and after shaping the mix I heated some oil in the pan and set the two fishcakes to brown either side. Previously I re-heated the egg fried rice in some hot water. When I went to turn the fishcakes they just fell apart and ended up a mushy mess in the bottom of the frying pan. Retrospectively I should perhaps have bound them with an egg.
Inspired by two more glasses of Côtes du Rhône 2006 wine of my own, I made the decision to make the best of my error and having drained the egg fried rice I added it to the pan, warmed the mixture through and served it to myself as ‘ egg fried rice and buttery crab mash’. As a garnish I sprinkled the crispy seaweed over the substantial dish. Actually, it tasted really nice and, inspired by my efforts, I enjoyed another glass of red wine and settled down to watch Rick Stein on dvd.
‘Dear Rick, as you are a seafood lover I wondered if you would like my recipe for fall apart crab fishcakes? I call it ‘egg fried rice, buttery crab mash and crispy seaweed’. My fee is...