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A new take on those festive sprouts: Crab cakes with Brussels ‘Slaw

With many of us finding ourselves with Christmas plans cancelled and additional sprouts to eat up, here’s a seasonal, sustainable recipe for Crab Cakes & Brussels Sprouts Slaw. 

Roasted sprouts were very much the food of the past couple of years. This new spin on the seasonal favourite will be a perfect antidote to heavier meals in the Christmas run. 

Few people are aware that crab can be fished sustainably all year round. While most readily available in the warmer months when they venture closer to shore, they’re at their best in Autumn and Winter, when the shells are rock hard and bursting with sweet meat. 

For the crab cakes

–       450g sustainably caught crab

–       450g potato, cut into 2cm cubes

–       4tsp capers (whole if small, or chopped)

–       ½ a shallot, finely diced

–       Zest and juice of 1 lemon

–       A healthy handful of dill and parsley (I also used some fennel fronds)

–       4 tbsp plain flour

–       A bowlful of breadcrumbs

–       2 eggs, beaten

For the slaw

–       400g brussels sprouts

–       2 carrots

–       2 apples (sharp and crisp)

–       The other ½ of your shallot

–       3 tbsp mayonnaise

–       2 tsp Dijon mustard

–       1 tbsp cider vinegar

–       2 tsp carraway seeds

For the herb drizzle

–       4 tbsp olive oil

–       2 tbsp cider vinegar

–       A pinch of sugar

–       Another good handful of parsley and dill

–       10-15 cornichons, finely sliced


Boil the potatoes until cooked, drain and leave to steam for five minutes. Mash, or pass through a ricer.

Pick through your crab meat to check for any stray shell then mix it in a bowl with the shallot, capers, chopped herbs and lemon zest and juice. Once the potato has cooled slightly stir this in and season well. Shape into nice chubby little discs and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours to firm up.

Finely shred the brussels sprouts (this can be done with knife, food processor or mandolin, if you’re feeling brave) and cut or grate the carrot and apple into small matchsticks. Very finely slice the shallot and mix everything in a bowl with the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, carraway seeds and plenty of salt and pepper.

For the herb drizzle, blitz all the ingredients other than the cornichons in a blender with a pinch of salt, then add the sliced cornichons.

When you’re ready to cook the crab cakes, heat enough oil in a pan to submerge your cakes. If you have a cooking thermometer, you’re looking for a cooking temperature of around 180C. Alternatively, a small chunk of potato should sizzle and float to the surface when the oil is hot enough.

Roll your crab cakes in seasoned flour, then in the beaten eggs, then in the breadcrumbs. Tap off any excess crumbs and carefully lower the crab cakes into the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Cook in batches until they’re golden, being very careful and not overcrowding the pan.If feeding a crowd, the crab cakes can be put on a baking tray to cool and then reheated in a 200C oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Photography & recipe: @Rootle_ 

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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