Here's a guest-friendly way to stretch a half-pound of crabmeat. The pancakes, slightly flavored by the coconut milk in their batter, come out thin and tender, loaded with the crunch of fresh herbs and sesame seeds. The dipping sauce is a no-cook combo of hoisin, soy sauce and minced serrano pepper.
You wouldn't have to work hard to make this recipe officially gluten-free.
Instead of toasting the sesame seeds in a skillet as called for here, you can use sesame seeds that come already roasted; they are available at grocery stores with well-stocked international aisles as well as at Asian markets.
Servings: 6 - 7 appetizer servings or 3 main-course
- For the sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped, seeded serrano pepper (for extra heat, leave in the seeds)
- For the pancakes
- 1 1/2 cups rice flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup low-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- About 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 8 ounces crabmeat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For the sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and serrano pepper in a medium bowl.
For the pancakes: Whisk together the rice flour, salt, coconut milk, water and eggs in a mixing bowl to form a smooth batter.
Toast the sesame seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes, shaking the skillet so the seeds don't burn. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
Return the empty skillet to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and swirl to coat evenly.
Once the oil is hot, pour about four 1/4-cup scoops of batter into the skillet, spaced far enough apart so they won't run together. Once the pancakes start to bubble on top, sprinkle some of the crabmeat, mint and cilantro evenly on each one, then flip the pancakes over. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm. Repeat the cooking process, adding 1 teaspoon of oil for each subsequent batch, using all the batter.
Serve warm, with the sweet-spicy hoisin sauce, some of the remaining cilantro and mint, and a sprinkle of the sesame seeds.
Adapted from "Jeffrey Saad's Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders" (Ballantine Books, 2012).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.