Sweet potato crab cakes

Sweet potato crab cakes

Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

Crab cakes and fritters are wildly popular along the coast of Brasil, especially in Pelourinho, the historic centre of Salvador, Bahia. Ours have plenty of fresh crab meat, sweet potato and lime juice – a real taste of tropical Brasil.


Quantity Ingredient
250g sweet potato
or 1 large sweet potato
250g fresh white crab meat
1/2 green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g fresh breadcrumbs
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon good-quality mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
75g dried breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
Mango salsa, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prick the sweet potato with a fork and wrap it in kitchen foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until soft. Remove and leave to cool slightly.
  2. Pick through the crabmeat and remove any bits of shell. Set aside in the fridge.
  3. Peel the potato and put the flesh in a large bowl. Mash it with a fork or potato masher. Add the pepper, onion, fresh breadcrumbs, parsley, lime juice and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold through the crab meat. Divide the mixture into 8, then shape each portion into a round patty and coat it with the dried breadcrumbs. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 20 minutes, until they have firmed up slightly.
  4. When ready to cook, heat enough oil to shallow-fry the crab cakes in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry in batches for 2–4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm while frying the rest. Serve warm with mango salsa and lime wedges on the side.
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