Alaskan-Hawaiian Crabcakes


By Wilderness Adventure Crew

I’m a Hawaiian girl at heart. I grew up learning how to harvest the bounty of the ocean from the clear clean water off the Kona coast. In many ways, Alaska and Hawaii are sister paradises, especially in one very particular way. 

Both Southeast Alaskans and Hawaiians celebrate their cultures through the local fare. The Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska have a saying, “When the tide is out, the table is set.” When I first heard this saying, my stomach grumbled with knowing. Perhaps this saying is most true at the height of summer in Southeast Alaska when we are anxiously awaiting the first salmon and the fishermen are working twenty four hours a day. Watching these locals toil over their precious crab pots makes my mouth water. Their prize is the most succulent, most luxurious, most decadent sea-treat of them all: the Dungeness crab.

The following recipe for moist, rich crab cakes is a hybrid Alaskan-Hawaiian favorite. Enjoy!

2 whole Dungeness crabs, steamed and picked clean
1, 4 pack Hawaiian sweet rolls, diced
1 package cream cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs Sriracha
1 red pepper, diced
6 shallots, diced
1 head of garlic
Fresh parsley
Butter for sautéing

The day before, steam your crabs and let them cool. You need about a pound of meat. Refrigerate. Roast your garlic the day before as well. Roasting garlic gives it a mellow flavor that pairs well with the crab rather than overpowering it.

To make bread crumbs, cube four Hawaiian sweet rolls and preheat oven to 250 degrees. Oil a sheet pan and arrange cubes in a single layer to bake. You want the bread cubes to fully dry out in the oven. This takes approximately 20 minutes. Check on them often and turn with a spatula.

Caramelize your shallots with butter and soften the red pepper in the same skillet. Let cool and set aside.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine your eggs, cream cheese, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and Sriracha. Add in your crab meat, onion and garlic mixture, and your soft roasted garlic cloves. Mix well. Crush your breadcrumbs and mix in just enough to dry out your mixture so that you can make cakes that stick together and aren’t too moist. These can then be baked, but I like to sauté them in butter. If you are feeling very adventurous, you can add a little more bread crumbs and fry them. Garnish with fresh parsley. Yum!

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