What is one to do this holiday season when planning platters of hors d'oeuvres to joyously share with friends and family? For the person who wonders about the impacts of large agricultural operations on the health of our planet, that go-to ring of succulent farmed shrimp in your grocer's freezer may start to lose some of its luster. Don't despair. You have options. The oceans and mangroves around the world will sing songs of cheer for your decision to Eat for Healthy Oceans.

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Farmed shrimp are one of the most consumed aquaculture products per capita in Canada, and the supply chain is complex, consisting of approximately 400,000 producers worldwide. The majority of the world's shrimp is farmed, and is referred to as Black Tiger Shrimp, Tiger Prawn, White Shrimp or Ebi. The SeaChoice program ranks these products as red, or Avoid, species.

Choose alternative seafood options like tasty Dungeness crab to make our memorable crab cakes, below, or chef Tojo's famous crab salad this holiday season.

And how heart-warming is this tidbit? Before mating, Dungeness crabs embrace for several days in a face-to-face position. Mating can only occur after a female moults and therefore the lengthy cuddle is actually a waiting game. Fertilized eggs remain attached to the female's abdomen for three to five months until they hatch. Available live, freshly cooked, frozen or canned, this sweet and rich crab makes for a tasty treat perfect for the holiday season.

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Delicious Dungeness crab cakes
Recipe from Angela Tunner aka The Renaissance Gourmet. International award winner, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Best Easy Recipes, Canada (2007).
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1/2 tsp fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 1/4cup Panko or fresh fine bread crumbs, divided
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and seasonings; set aside. If fresh, break up crab and pick through to remove cartilage or shell. If canned, drain crabmeat; place onto a sheet of paper towel and gently squeeze to get as much of the liquid out as possible.

Put crab meat in a bowl. Add in half of the bread crumbs and all the other ingredients folding and stirring gently until blended.

Shape into 8 crab cakes (about 2.5 inches in diameter), or 16 for bite-sized hors d'oeuvres. You can use a biscuit cutter with an open top to shape them. Press each cake gently into the reserved crumbs. Cover and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer.

Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Add in butter and oil (both together give it a better flavour). Fry crab cakes for about 5 minutes on each side (less if hors d'oeuvres sized), carefully turning only once. Serve and enjoy.

November 13, 2013

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1 Comment

Jan 08, 2014
1:35 PM

Why aren’t you talking about Fukishima in regards to eating seafood?

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