Fife Crab Cakes

These crab cakes are beautiful, sustainable and cheap. One dressed Brown Crab is about £3 but with this recipe you can feed six for about £5. You can play with using either parsley or coriander or using spring onions or red ones. We served them up at the scorching Burntisland Unlimited High St fair at the weekend. Try them and support your local fish van/fishmonger. The crabs are Pittenweem landed and bought from J&A Imrie Fishmongers, Burntisland.


500g potatoes, peeled and larger ones halved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
500g mixed white and brown crab meat (2:1 brown to white)
2 lemons
Few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ a fresh red chilli
3 spring onions, trimmed

for the salsa
10 cherry tomatoes, on the vine if available
1 fresh red chilli, halved lengthways and de-seeded
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Few sprigs of fresh basil


In a large pan of salted boiling water cook the potatoes for 15-20 mins until tender. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan. Keeping the heat high, blacken your salsa tomatoes and chilli. Add other veg (home grown peppers, carrot…), chopped up small if you feel experimental. Leave to cool.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave to steam dry for a few minutes then return to the pan. Season with salt and pepper then mash together with the crab meat, using a potato masher. Finely grate the zest of a lemon onto a board, add the parsley, chilli and spring onions and chop it all together, mixing as you go, until fine. Scrape this into the pan of crab mixture and mash again till well combined. Divide into 12 portions then shape each one into a patty. Pop in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to firm up.

When you’re ready to cook, add a splash of olive oil to a large frying pan on a high heat. Add half of the patties and cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway, or until golden, crisp and cooked through, then repeat with the second batch.

Meanwhile, chop the blackened veg with the sliced spring onion. Have a taste then add a pinch of salt and pepper, the extra virgin olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon. Pick and add the basil leaves, discarding the stalks. Chop again until you’re happy with the consistency. Lay the crab cakes on your platter, top with salsa and serve with a simple lemony dressed rocket salad and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Here’s the MSc Good Fish Guide.

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