Asian Crab Bon Bons with Miso Sweetcorn Puree


Finally an evening to experiment in the kitchen! As much as I adore feeding dinner party guests, I am always far to scared to experiment on their adoring high expecting tastebuds. With the need to please and deliver some delicious food, I always default to my staple flavours and ingredients. But tonight…with only myself to potentially disappoint I tried out a new dish. After a long week, some downtime in the kitchen was hugely appreciated. And the good news is it did not disappoint! When I create new recipes in my head they morph and change throughout the day as I change my mind or get inspired by the those Portobello market stalls. So what started out on my morning commute as a typical French styled and flavoured fish and crab dish was quickly violated by those tempting devious Thai and Asian flavours I adore. Earthy miso spiked sweet corn puree, savoury soy glazed warm kale, dangerously crispy chilli crab bon bons a perfect accompaniment for some plump sea bass.

Serves 2

Miso Sweetcorn Puree

  • 1 can sweetcorn drained (about 250g)
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  1. Heat the sweetcorn in a saucepan just to warm through.
  2. Place in the bowl of a food processor with the miso, ½ the lime juice and the sesame oil
  3. Blitz to a very fine paste for 2-3 minutes. Taste and add more lime juice if needed
  4. Keep warm while you make the rest of the meal.

Crab Bon Bons (makes 4 golf ball sized)

  • 100g crab meat, mixed white and brown
  • ½ small red chilli (heat strength dependent on taste), chopped finely
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped finely
  • Zest ½ lime
  • Small bowl of fine brown breadcrumbs/panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Around 50g plain flour
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  1. In a large bowl, mix the crab together with the chilli, coriander, lime zest and a small handful of the breadcrumbs and season.
  2. Shape together with your hands to form into 4 tight balls. They mixture might be quite wet and delicate so be careful. You can add more breadcrumbs here to help.
  3. Combine the coconut and the breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  4. Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls.
  5. Now roll the crab balls first in the flour then delicately coat in the egg. Finally roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the rest and place them on a plate. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to firm up.
  6. When ready to cook, heat a pan of oil to about 4cm high or enough to just cover the bon bons. Heat the oil and test the temperature by dropping a small piece of bread into the oil. If it sizzles and begins to turn golden brown – its ready! Make sure it isn’t too hot though or the outside will brown and burn before the middle is hot.
  7. Fry the bon bons in the hot oil until golden all over. Once ready, drain on kitchen towel and keep warm until needed.

To serve

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • Kale
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Coriander for garnish
  1. When ready to cook, boil a large pan of water. When boiling remove from the heat and add the kale. Let it cook for a minute sitting in the hot water before draining. Let it drain well. Season and then coat in the soy sauce. If there is too much water retained in the kale, pop back on the heat and glaze the soy over the kale.
  2. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp of oil. Season the fish and fry for about 3 minutes skin side down, turning for the last 30 seconds or so until cooked.
  3. To serve, spoon a generous spoonful of the sweetcorn puree onto a warm serving plate. Top with some soy glazed kale and the fish. Add your warm crispy bon bons and scatter with coriander. Drizzle with a little soy if you like!

WINE: Asian food is thought to be hard to match with food and is not the natural go to for some – beer you shout. With the food being a mix of savoury, sweet or spicy elements, Asian flavours benefit from a lower alcohol wine and often one with a little residual sugar. The fried and powerful Asian Crab bon bons here need a rounder wine with a bit of weight. A perfect match here or for other hearty Asian dishes would be a Demi-sec Vouray. Try the Domaine Huet, 2009 Vouvray Demi Sec, Le Haut-Lieu available proudly from Armit Wines.

Jess - The Haut-Lieu Demi Sec