Curried Dungeness Crab Cake with Avocado Aoli

J Vineyards & Winery has been at the forefront of the wine and food experience since our first tasting program launched in 1999. All of the recipes have been created by our J Culinary Team to pair perfectly with our exceptional portfolio of varietal and sparkling wines.


Crab cakes: 
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1 ¼ cups finely diced celery 
1 ¼ cups finely diced shallots 
2  Serrano chiles 
2 teaspoons curry powder 
½ cup finely chopped cilantro 
⅓ cup finely diced roasted red bell pepper  
2 pounds Dungeness Crab Meat, cleaned and picked through 
⅓- ½ cup mayonnaise 
2 egg whites 
¼ cup Panko crumbs, plus additional Panko crumbs as needed for breading Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed for frying cakes

Avocado Aoli:   
4 avocados 
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar 
1 Serrano chile, small dice 
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 
1 cup buttermilk 
1 clove garlic, small dice 
1 teaspoon salt Juice of one lime  
½ cup Canola Oil 
Optional: for light mousse, use 2 gelatin sheets; for more firm, use 3


Crab cakes: 
In a medium skillet over medium heat, pour in one tablespoon olive oil; add celery, shallots, and Serrano chiles. Cook mixture until soft, without browning, for about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat; add curry and cilantro. Set aside and allow to cool.     

In a large bowl, combine red bell pepper, crab, mayonnaise, egg whites, the ¼ cup Panko and the cooled celery mixture. Mix well and form into little cakes. Place cakes on a sheet pan and let sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 30 minutes.     

Place some panko crumbs on a large plate and gently coat the crab cakes all around.     

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. When hot, place crab cakes in skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes per side or until golden and warmed through. Remove and serve with Aïoli.

Avocado Aïoli:  
In a blender, combine vinegar, Serrano chile, cilantro, buttermilk, garlic, salt and lime juice and purée until smooth. Meanwhile in a robot-coupe, blend avocados. Slowly add in the mixture from the blender into the avocados. Slowly add in the canola oil. Keep chilled on ice or purée will discolor.  

Yields 24 small cakes (approx. 2 oz. each); 8 servings at 3 cakes per serving


Suggested Pairing: