crab and corn fritters
These spiced little morsels are straight out of my latest cookbook and memoir (foodoir?) called Margaret and Me. The book intertwines stories of my grandmother Margaret Fulton, who grew up heavily influenced by the food her mother cooked, and then went on to travel, write for Woman's Day and others, and teach many Australians how to cook... as well as my own story of food and cooking. There are 50 recipes too, and this recipe for Crab and Corn Fritters are one of my favourites.
Crab and corn fritters
Preparation 20 minutes >> Cooking 30 minutes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 20 g (¾ oz) unsalted butter
- 1–2 large sweetcorn, kernels stripped, to give about 400 g (14 oz/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 250 g (9 oz) cooked crab meat, picked over to remove any shell
- 30 g (1 oz/¾ cup) chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 75 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) fine polenta (cornmeal)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) buttermilk
- 2 free-range eggs, separated
- 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable or rice bran oil
- hot sauce, to serve
- lime cheeks, to serve
- Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the corn kernels, chilli flakes and spring onion and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
- When the corn mixture is cool, add the crab meat, coriander, flour, polenta, baking powder, buttermilk and egg yolks, and fold together until well combined.
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until firm peaks form, then take a large spoonful and fold it into the corn mixture. Fold in the remaining egg white.
- Heat the oil in a wok or small saucepan. Working in batches of three or four, slide heaped teaspoons of the corn mixture carefully into the hot oil, turning with tongs to cook on all sides. They will puff and turn golden when cooked. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Season with sea salt and serve immediately with hot sauce and lime cheeks.
You can buy vacuum-sealed, pre-picked crab meat from most good fishmongers and fish markets, and, if it’s fresh and good-quality, then it will work well here. But avoid those canned versions: the crab meat won’t provide the same taste or texture. The best option, of course, is to hand-pick the cooked crabs yourself. I love the texture of Australian blue swimmer crabmeat, and it’s a good sustainable choice, too.