Benne Seed Shrimp and Crab Cakes with Cilantro-Peanut Sauce
Jumbo shrimp are spread open and filled with a crab mixture to create miniature “chops” which are fried and served with cilantro-peanut sauce. The crab mixture would be wonderful by itself, sauteed as crab cakes; double the crab filling recipe to use it without the shrimp.
- Cilantro-Peanut Sauce
- Peanut Butter - 1 cup, smooth
- Cilantro - 1 bunch
- Thai fish sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Ginger - 2 teaspoons, chopped
- Clove Garlic - 1, minced
- Lime Juice - 2 limes
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1/2 teaspoon, crushed
- Curry powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- Peanut Oil - 1/2 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Crab Filling
- Lump crab meat - 1/2 pound
- Red Bell Pepper - 1/2, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Green Bell Pepper - 1/2, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Yellow Onion - 1/2, diced
- Cayenne Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Soy Sauce - 2 teaspoons
- Celery Stalks - 3, diced
- Dijon-style mustard - 2 tablespoons
- Mayonnaise - 1 tablespoon
- Egg - 1
- Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) - 1/2 cup, or other fine dry bread crumbs
- Shrimp - 8, large, peeled and deveined, tails left on
- White Sesame (benne) Seeds - 1 cup
- Peanut Oil - 2 - 3 tablespoons
- Cilantro Sprigs - 4, stemmed and chopped
To make the sauce: Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Put into a squeeze bottle.
To prepare the filling: In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the bread crumbs. Slowly mix in the crumbs until the mixture has a dough-like consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare the shrimp: Slice through the middle of backs the shrimp, leaving the sides attached at the tail. Lay the shrimp on a work surface and press a large spoonful of crab mixture into the opened shrimp, creating a small “chop.” Press sesame (benne) seeds over the outside of the crab mixture.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet or saute pan. Place the shrimp-crab “chops” into the oil, keeping them separated, and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn and fry on the other side for 1 minute, or until golden. Lift out with a spatula and drain on paper towels. Repeat with any remaining “chops” which did not fit in the pan the first time. Add more oil if necessary.
To serve: Drizzle cilantro-peanut sauce over the serving plates. Place two shrimp-crab meat “chops” on each plate and garnish with chopped cilantro.