Prep time:

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time:

Serves: 3

1tbsp olive oil

120g Arborio risotto rice

50ml dry white wine

1tbsp lemon juice

1tbsp grated lemon zest

200ml water or light vegetable stock

150g crab meat (white or a mixture of white and brown meat)

2tsp finely chopped tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste

For the coating:

100g plain flour (approx)

1 beaten egg

100g ready made fine breadcrumbs (or Panko) (approx)

50ml vegetable oil for frying

Crab comes into season in the spring and has a delicate texture, but a flavour strong enough to mix well with pasta, pastry and rice. These creamy, risotto-style crab cakes make a great starter or light lunch.

Serves 3-4 as a starter, or 2 as a light main. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 35 minutes, plus 1-2 hours in the fridge.

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan or deep frying pan/small wok and add the rice. After a minute add wine, lemon juice, zest and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 15-20 mins.
  2. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid (you may have to add a little more water until the right consistency is achieved) stir in the crab meat, tarragon and seasoning. Leave the mixture to cool in the fridge for an hour or two (or up to a day).
  3. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs into 3 separate bowls. Now comes the sticky bit. There’s not really a way around this (you can try dusting your hands with flour); grit your teeth, push up your sleeves and roll the rice mixture into balls (I make them just bigger than bite-size so that they have to be eaten with a fork), dip each ball into first flour, then egg and finally roll them around in breadcrumbs.
  4. Fry the balls carefully, moving them around in the oil until each one is evenly golden brown. Serve while warm with lemon wedges and a watercress garnish, or a green salad.

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