Avocado Crab Cakes with Crushed Plantain Chips

Dear disappointing Boston restaurant,

My hubby and I can rarely resist ordering crab cakes when we eat out, and I was really looking forward to trying your twist on our favorite appetizer during our recent visit to your restaurant. So, you can imagine our disappointment when we couldn’t see or taste the crab in the 4 bites of our $15 appetizer. Perhaps you should rename this dish to something more appropriate, like tasteless fried breadcrumbs?

Although we won’t be frequenting your establishment again (the meal did not get any better as it progressed), I do have to thank you for inspiring me to make my own crab cakes at home for the first time. Crab cakes are something I’ve been hesitant to try putting together myself, because I was nervous about ruining the expensive lump crabmeat. But after our horrible experience at your restaurant, I realized that I couldn’t do any worse than your chef, so I went ahead and splurged on the one pound $15 tub of fresh lump crabmeat from Costco. I used avocado in place of mayo and crushed plantain chips instead of breadcrumbs, and served the cakes over black beans, mango, and red peppers – yum! They were just as good as any restaurant version I’ve had and I made 3 huge dinner-sized portions for the fraction of the price they would cost at a restaurant! So thank you for pushing me to step outside my comfort zone in the kitchen!

Sincerely,
A Boston food blogger

Avocado Crab Cakes with Crushed Plantain Chips
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound lump crabmeat
1/4 cup mashed avocado
1/2 cup crushed plantain chips
1 egg, beaten
1 lime
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 mango, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped

Directions:
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and sauté onions for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute.

In medium bowl, mix together the lump crabmeat, onions, avocado, plantain chips, egg, juice of half the lime, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Shape mixture into 6 crab cakes.

Meanwhile, mix black beans, mango, red pepper, juice of the remaining half of the lime, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet. Add 3 crab cakes and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 crab cakes. Serve crab cakes over the black bean, mango, and red pepper mix. Makes 3 large servings.

Nutrition: 514 calories, 22.1g fat, 14.6g fiber, 24.4g protein per serving
Cost: $6.17 per serving

52 Responses to Avocado Crab Cakes with Crushed Plantain Chips

  1. I absolutely hate when you order crab cakes and can’t find the crab! I love lump crab cakes… that look just like yours. Great job making them yourself! I hope you enoyed them!

  2. Well thank goodness for your disappointing experience! It looks like your crappy restaurant dinner resulted in something really, really delicious. And so beautiful and colorful, too!

  3. I want to know what restaurant it was :) These look amazing! When I first saw the photo, I thought the veggies were candy corns! So clearly, this looked like a completely awesome fall dish! I LOVE crab cakes and like you, I have a hard time turning them down at restaurants. I made some last year and they were great; I might have to try your recipe now!

  4. Dear Disappointing restaurant,
    Shame on you for serving Kerstin and her hubby bad crab cakes. But thank you for inspiring her to share this AWESOME recipe with us!

  5. You are making this vegetarian wish she ate meat! I’m also wishing the Omnivore ate fish so that I could live vicariously through his tastebuds, but alas, he does not.

  6. Your crab cakes sound incredible – I love your inclusion of avocado and plantains! Your crab cakes sound waaaay better than any restaurant version!

    I love your letter to the restaurant… :-) So clever and witty! :-)

  7. Yummm. How tropical! I love it. I bet the crab goes well with the plantains.
    Sorry about your experience. Ugh! I hate that! It seems like it happens more and more when you go out to eat.

  8. Congratulations for making your own! They are on my to-do list too, but I haven’t been so brave yet.
    They look great – I love your subs.
    We don’t even bother with restaurants anymore, so disappointing and expensive.

  9. Kerstin, your recipe was creative as well as your post. You should take a pic of your crabcakes and mail it to that restaurant and say, “this is the proper way to make and serve a crabcake!” They would be floored and embarrassed that they served you such crap. Nice job as usual!

  10. You know I have had that exact same experience. Maybe the crab cakes we had came from the same frozen restaurant delivery wholesaler?

    Costco is my favorite way to be canned crab, it is worth it! Your version looks totally delicious, I need to find some plantains, they are all around blog world and they look so delicious.

  11. Well I’m happy some good came out of the restaurant experience. I especially really hate hyped restaurants, because they tend to let you down.

    Fantastic idea with the avocado and plantain. It’s like an island treat that would be soo original in snowy Boston, don’tcha think?

  12. I’ll have to make these for my crab cake crazy family! Anything with avocados wins my heart. Congrats on your featured blog on Gourmet’s blog. I got one too! Only on a different blog this week. Fun, huh? Have a great week! Roz

  13. Ugh I hate it when you order something at a restaurant only to realize that you can make it better yourself! Oh well at least now you’ve gotten over a kitchen fear. What restaurant was it?

    I love the many ingredients you put in these…subbing avocado for mayo – genius!

  14. there are very few things i hate more than being disappointed at a restaurant. good for you for doing a much better job in your own kitchen–they look perfect and quite appealing, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even like crab!

  15. Thanks everyone – I felt much better after this post :) I don’t know if we’ve just been going to the wrong places (I think in general, the restaurants in Chicago, where we used to live, are better than in Boston) or if I’ve just become a better cook, but we’ve been more disappointed than not when dining out recently!

    Sues – We only gave the restaurant 2 stars on yelp, so other Bostonians will hopefully stay away :)

  16. Ooh, these look so tropical! I love crab cakes but have a hard time splurging for lump crab meat. I’m glad you did.

    ….AND congrats!!! Hope you find something nice :) Please email me your info so we can send out your prize! :) newlywedcook at gmail dot com.

  17. Oh dear, so sorry to hear that your dining experience didn’t turn out well. But like you said, I guess every cloud has a silver lining & this crab cakes you’ve made look just delicious. I love eating them but have never tried making it so, thanks for the recipe!

  18. Yay, that’s right! You go girl! There are so many more things that I don’t order or buy when I’m out becuase I know I can make it myself AND exactly the way I like it!

    I like your changes to the standard crabcake!

    Happy Friday!
    ~ingrid

  19. Crabcakes w/o Mayo! Yay.

    I’ve always shied away from trying CCs at home because of the mayo and the cost, but you’ve got me convinced. Yours look scrumptious.

  20. Your letter cracks me up but you’re 100% right – too many places love to fill their crab cakes with something other than crab and it’s unacceptable, especially at $15 per app! Yours look tasty, I’ll have to give these a go.

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