Plantain- Wrapped Crab Cakes with Avocado Aioli

My Gourmet group had a fabulous Cuban-themed dinner last weekend. I’m excited to share the entire menu with you, which I’ll do in my next post, but for now I’ll share the recipe that I was assigned to make:
Plantain- Wrapped Crab Cakes with Avocado Aioli.

I had picked up a big bunch of plantains from my favorite San Diego source for unique produce: Specialty Produce, but I have a funny story about the plantains…
I went into this recipe thinking that I was making some sort of exotic banana-wrapped crab cakes. I had seen plantains before, and I assumed they were just like bananas. Oh, how wrong I was! I started to unpeel the plantain and couldn’t figure how why the the thing wasn’t peeling easily, and even more surprising was that I found myself holding a rather rock-hard banana. “What the heck?” I thought. Then I took a peek at the produce sticker, which said…”Plantains are similar to potatoes and should be cooked the same way.” Hmmmm. That was a rather interesting discovery for me, and it actually made more sense for this recipe.
I used a potato peeler to get long strips of plantain slices. The slices were then baked for about 3 minutes, just to get them soft enough to become pliable.
Since the plantains are used to wrap around the crab cake, you arrange them out in a wheel-spoke sort of fashion.
The crab cake mixture is plopped into the middle. (The crab mixture consists of seasonings, egg, breadcrumbs and crab). I used a tub of fresh crabmeat from Costco’s refrigerated section (by the cheeses).
The plantains are then wrapped around the crab cake.
The cakes are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and are refrigerated until ready to cook.
They’re fried in a little bit of oil until lightly browned on both sides.
Then they’re served immediately with a scoop of avocado aioli (basically an avocado that has been whirred in the food processor with a bit of water, sour cream & lime). I fried these up at home, then placed them into a foil-lined plastic tub for transport to the party. When I got to the party, I put them on my serving platter & then popped the platter in the host’s microwave for about 1 min., which added just enough warmth for serving.

These were definitely a very unique appetizer. I’ve never had crab cakes made this way, or wrapped with anything but breadcrumbs for that matter. I thoroughly enjoyed them, as did the other Gourmet group members.   The plantain creates a slightly crunchy exterior to the crab cake.  They can be eaten with a fork, or they can be picked up and dunked in the aioli.

There were a couple of other appetizers served at the party too… as well as the main courses and the unbelievably amazing dessert… everything was excellent. You can look forward to seeing the entire menu + pics and recipes in my next post 🙂

This recipe can be found HERE.

48 Responses to “Plantain- Wrapped Crab Cakes with Avocado Aioli”

  1. postedJun 1, 2009 3:04 AM


  2. postedJun 1, 2009 5:30 AM

    I think I would prefer this dish with ripe plantains – it looked like you were using green ones (which is a totally traditional way to eat them, I just prefer the sweetness from the ripe ones). I LOVE plantains. Ideas are forming in my head :)…

  3. postedJun 1, 2009 4:50 AM

    ohhh very fancy! I bet the flavors were amazing

  4. postedJun 1, 2009 5:27 AM

    This looks amazing and I bet so flavorsome!

  5. postedJun 1, 2009 5:40 AM

    Very cool! We do a lot of Cuban cooking (my boyfriend is Cuban) so I am familiar with plantains and LOVE them. Tostones are a favorites. This looks great!

  6. postedJun 1, 2009 6:12 AM

    Wonderful! You really made these look so good. I am up for trying this now (you make it look so easy).

  7. postedJun 1, 2009 6:40 AM

    I’ve not eaten plantains before, but this dish is amazing looking!Great job!

  8. postedJun 1, 2009 7:28 AM

    Where in your brain do you find all these interesting things??? I am in awe!!!!

  9. postedJun 1, 2009 8:24 AM

    What a great idea for crab cakes! The presentation is awesome too! Thanks for the idea.

  10. postedJun 1, 2009 8:31 AM

    I’ve never cooked with plantains before either, so I’m glad you shared your experience in this post! Crab cakes are a favorite for us, so I may have try making them this way. The avocado aioli looks like it would be a nice addition to so many other dishes as well!

  11. postedJun 1, 2009 9:03 AM

    A helpful hint when trying to take the peel off of plantains. My mother in-law (dominican in nationality) has me run my bunch under lukewarm water then i cut a slice down one whole side and let the water run into the plantain. This generally helps will the peel removal, but also how the outside peel looks also makes a difference. (or at least i was told). 🙂

  12. postedJun 1, 2009 9:51 AM

    Great execution for someone who hasn’t worked with plantains before. They look delicious!

  13. postedJun 1, 2009 10:31 AM

    These look amazing. What a wonderful use for plantains and fun way to package crab cakes.

  14. postedJun 1, 2009 11:22 AM

    So different! What an interesting flavor for crab.

  15. postedJun 1, 2009 1:21 PM

    I am crazy about plantains! They are so addictive! This dish looks fab- I can’t wait to try making it!

  16. postedJun 1, 2009 1:46 PM

    What a creative recipe! wonderful flavours and tectures!

  17. postedJun 1, 2009 1:53 PM

    First time I see this recipe but I have to say that I totally love the idea. Looks really yummmy.

  18. postedJun 1, 2009 4:11 PM

    GENIUS!!! I love the idea! You may want to check out my post tonight… there’s a little something waiting for you 🙂

  19. postedJun 1, 2009 5:37 PM

    Holy smokes! DELICIOUS!!!

  20. postedJun 1, 2009 7:14 PM

    You’re so creative – I LOVE it. Plantains are so yummy.

  21. postedJun 1, 2009 7:17 PM

    That’s terrific! I’ve never tried plantains. Using them as a wrap for crab cakes sounds fabulous.

  22. postedJun 1, 2009 10:48 PM

    This looks awesome! I have never seen plantains used in crab cakes. You are so creative!

  23. postedJun 2, 2009 5:00 AM

    Be still my heart. I adore plantains! Wrapping them around a crab cake is almost too much for me to handle.

  24. postedJun 2, 2009 5:55 AM

    You just reminded me. I bought a plantain while I was in Idaho to introduce to my grandchildren and I never got around to cooking it. Uh oh, my daughter isn’t going to have the slightest idea what to do with it. I better send her this post. You did such a wonderful job of explaining and I do believe she may be able to find crab cake mixture where she lives. Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring recipe. I must pass it along!

  25. postedJun 2, 2009 7:49 AM

    plantainss.. i just adore themm.. yummm!! creative.. sound great!!

  26. postedJun 2, 2009 10:54 AM

    I applaud you for sticking to it and making such a creative dish!

    I’ve always wanted to do something with plantains, but I’ve never had the courage to do try to do something with them

    Nice job!

  27. postedJun 2, 2009 11:57 AM


  28. postedJun 2, 2009 11:01 AM

    Lori, this is very creative, nicely done! I’ve not cooked with plantains but I do like them! I guess these would be timbales?

  29. postedJun 2, 2009 8:04 PM

    What a fabulous idea — I bet they tasted amazing!!

  30. postedJun 3, 2009 12:51 AM

    MMMMM…they look amazing & so tastefull!
    i love it!
    It is so original & so delicious!

  31. postedJun 3, 2009 3:57 AM

    So basically we are WAY off with thinking they are banana-like. Good to know 🙂

    Other than that, I love the crabcake idea. It’s like a crab on a vacation 🙂

  32. postedJun 3, 2009 5:24 AM
  33. postedJun 3, 2009 7:33 AM

    Like a potato? That’s very interesting. I had no idea. Did it taste anything like a banana?
    That gourmet group souns like a lot of fun. Good job on the dish. You aced it!

  34. postedJun 3, 2009 7:41 AM

    Cool recipe!!

  35. postedJun 3, 2009 7:57 AM

    Lori this is beautiful! I make fried plantains and I also use plantains in soups. But I have never seen them in this preparation before. It looks so yummy!!

    What I like about this recipe too is that you can go either way with the plantain.. it would be yummy prepared and fried when the plantain is a bit more ripe too giving it a sweetness to go with the crab.

  36. postedJun 3, 2009 9:22 AM

    Wow. I don’t even like seafood and you make me want to try this. Very cool.

  37. postedJun 3, 2009 9:25 AM

    That’s a creative way to wrap plantain around soft stuffings. I can imagine the sweet caramelized smell of the fried banana in your kitchen. I agreed with you this method is unique than the usual ways Thumbs up from me!

  38. postedJun 3, 2009 10:20 AM

    I love this!! What a great and unique alternative to bread crumbs.

  39. postedJun 3, 2009 1:39 PM

    Lori this is fabulous! What a unique recipe. I can’t wait to see the rest of the menu. We have a little Cuban cafe near me that serves some of the most delicious dishes I have ever had. We are lucky to live in a country with so many cultures and good foods to eat!

  40. postedJun 3, 2009 1:52 PM

    I never would have thought of this. I love plantains and crab so this is a winner. so inventive.

  41. postedJun 3, 2009 10:07 PM

    this sounds absolutely phenomenal! I am going to make this soon!

  42. postedJun 4, 2009 7:18 AM

    What a fantastic idea and so elegant. Im stealing this!

  43. postedJun 5, 2009 7:06 AM

    I’ve never had plantains, but I’m always promising myself I’m going to try them one day. These look amazing!

  44. postedJun 5, 2009 12:24 PM

    Fry the plantains when they are rip & sweet.

  45. postedJun 5, 2009 1:17 PM

    Umm can I move to your neighborhood?? This whole meal looks deliciously amazing. Of course, any meal involving mojitos is amazing, but wow!

  46. postedJun 6, 2009 10:31 AM

    These look and sound really good. I have been wanting to try doing something with plantains.

  47. postedJun 9, 2009 12:10 AM
    Girl Japan

    Oh my GOSH I am swooning over your presentation, the dish, WOW, just WOW…

  48. postedJun 15, 2009 3:41 PM

    Wow, those look glorious! I love the presentation.

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