If a crab cake is made right, it requires very few ingredients. It’s merely the quality of those ingredients that makes the cake. A crab cake can also bring with it the unique flavors of its region, which is why there are those of us who order them wherever we may travel.
But another factor which can set this simple food apart from the pack are sauces for crab cakes. If you really want to appreciate a well-done crab cake, tartar and cocktail alone won’t do. Here are five delicious, unexpected sauces for crab cakes.
1. Roasted Pepper Coulis
What’s a coulis? It’s a vegetable (or fruit) puree that’s thin in texture, and unsurprisingly, it makes one of the best sauces for crab cakes. This recipe adds extra oomph to roasted red peppers with the addition of a little jalapeno and a splash of red wine vinegar. Plus, it looks impressive when carefully plated with your cakes.
2. Sweet and Spicy Mango Puree
More and more, we’re discovering that mango is a fantastic complement to a wide variety of dishes, especially light fare like fresh crab cakes. The epitome of sweet and savory comes to the table with fresh mango blended with spices and chili sauce. You’re sure to find other ways to work this sauce into your weekly menu.
3. Chardonnay Cream Sauce
This chardonnay cream sauce is a completely accessible way to make your crab cakes seem much more gourmet from home. It begins with an easy-to-make wine and shallot reduction that bounces back with a healthy dose of cream. It’s seasoned very simply with salt and pepper to taste. This sauce accompanies an excellent recipe for crab cakes that includes potato chips as filler, just in case you find wine and cream reductions a smidge too pretentious.
4. Cajun Lobster Sauce
Cajun flavors aren’t that unusual for a crab cake, but a hint of lobster flavor? That would hook most any seafood lover. It doesn’t deviate too terribly from what we expect from sauces for crab cakes, but it certainly beats tartar. This sauce is an easy cream reduction infused with cajun seasoning and paprika, with a bit of bite from Tabasco and Worcestershire. The sauce is finished with melted butter, green onions, and lobster base, for a silky side you’ll make again and again.
5. Spicy Avocado Sauce
If you’re anything like most people, you’re always up for a new way to incorporate avocados into a dish. This spicy avocado sauce isn’t entirely unlike some certain guacamole recipes, and the amount of chile included can be adjusted to match your heat preference. All told, it’s a smoother, more sophisticated swap for cocktail sauce.
There’s much one can do with high-quality lump crab meat, but crab cakes are one of the most versatile ways to serve good crab. It works well at casual outdoor gatherings alongside potato salad and coleslaw but is also fitting in finer settings, paired with asparagus, artichokes, or salads. All you need to elevate its profile is a surprising sauce.