Crab Cakes

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs, plus some for breading (available in many grocery stores; do not use regular, fine bread crumbs)
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper, briefly sautèed in oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
flour for breading
lightly beaten egg for dipping
oil for frying

Mix all ingredients and shape into cakes by pressing into a quarter-cup measuring cup. Dip into flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Pan-fry over medium-high heat until golden brown. (May be deep-fried if preferred.)

Creamy Soy-Garlic Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped green onions, white part only
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/8 cup honey

Purée all ingredients in a blender.


2 medium zucchini, julienne cut in long strips
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 cup soy sauce
generous pinch shichimi togarashi (a Japanese seasoning consisting of chile peppers, sesame seeds, seaweed, orange peel, and poppy seeds; available at Asian markets)
1 bottle cold sake (a splash for the recipe, the rest for the cook and guests)
4 or more cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Sauté zucchini in butter over medium heat until tender, adding soy sauce, shichimi togarashi, and sake toward end. To serve, pour soy-garlic sauce around perimeter of 4 plates, place a bed of zucchini on each, and top with 3 crab cakes. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and cilantro. Serves 4.