Behold the first Skill Up Skillet recipe to physically kick my ass: Half-Life Headcrab Crab Cakes! This recipe was recently requested by longtime reader, teacher, and friend Laura. Would now be a good time to mention the only seafood I’ve handled up until now has been restricted to fish fingers and imitation crab sticks? As always, like an idiot, challenge accepted. For those of you not familiar with Headcrabs, these things are horrifying. According to the Half-Life Wiki:
Headcrabs are a parasitic species. Upon sighting a humanoid host, a headcrab will leap for the victim’s face and affix itself to the cranium, whereupon they will use their beak to break into the victim’s skull. The Headcrab then proceeds to take over its host’s motor functions through some unknown biological process.
Yes, these scary fuckers essentially transform their host into a zombie. Beyond horrifying, right? An unbiased review of this recipe for harmless (but spicy) crab cakes might call for a Skillet Level 2 difficulty, but considering I’m missing a moderate amount of flesh from one of my fingers, well…
In return for this inspiration from hell, I named my blister ‘Laura’. Want to have a cooking-related bodily injury named after you? Contact me for details. Anyway.
FINAL NOTICE: This week is the last week to vote for September’s Featured Recipe. Cast your vote now!
Ready? Let’s go.Gamers, grab your mats:
- 1 pound lump crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise if you’re gross)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 and 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 1/2 cup cilantro, divided
- 1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce. Don’t skimp here; get the spicy shit out.
- salt and pepper, to taste
Recipe based on this.
- sriracha hot sauce or similar
- Skill Up Skillet’s Super Secret Sauce – I can just hear you now: “Hold up, Skill Up Skillet has its own sauce?! What even…?” You better believe we do. It’s in its prototype stage, until we can break it down into its individual components and rebuild it from the base. It’s a nice hot-n-sweet little drizzle number. Eventually we’ll get the recipe up, and you’ll love it.
First, pick over your crabmeat to make sure there’s no bits of shell or nasty stuff. Shred it into fine bits with a fork:
Chop up 1/4 cup green onion, using white and light green bits only.
Next, finely chop 1/2 cup cilantro leaves. Set half aside. Because I can’t be trusted to measure I did my cilantro-chopping in two batches.
Juice your lime and chop up your jalapeno, however much you’re using:
Dump everything from the first list except panko into a medium bowl.
Mix everything together well, then refrigerate for about an hour. Let the flavors mingle.
Add panko breadcrumbs and form your headcrab bodies and legs. You’ll want 6 oblong bodies, about 3/4″ thick and 12 fritter-like legs. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Mix your reserved breadcrumbs and cilantro together in a bowl. Coat crab cakes in panko coating:
Sarcasm Alert: Heat your oil to medium-high. Let the oil get too hot. Place your first crab cake in the skillet with your bare fucking fingers. Scream like a five year old girl amped up on sugar. Scorch one batch of cakes while tending to your injuries. Hold blistering finger(s) under frigid water for an hour. Cry every time you have to change the water from your hand-bowl because you have to take your hand out of the water. Refuse to touch the stove for days.
Heat oil to medium-medium high. Take care not to overheat the oil. Place cakes in oil using tongs. Fry cakes in batches; about 3 minutes on each side should be fine.
Assemble cakes on plate and drizzle with sriracha on the narrow ‘front’ of the headcrab and on the ends of the ‘legs’. Be messy with it; it’s hot sauce imitating blood, what can possibly be better than that?
For having no clue what I was doing, these taste amazing. Like, if I were to get a raise I’d make crab cakes every week and never get sick of them. They’re superb! Special thanks to Laura for the inspiration and those of you who checked in on me when I was in agony. You guys are great! Also, sorry for the late post. I still have minimal skin on my finger and the parts that aren’t numb are incredibly sensitive. Ugh.
Coming Up Next: Minions Trifle! (Or, what happens when I’m told to bring ‘whatever’ to a party.)
P.S.: Vote for the South Park recipe you want me to make! Do it.
Remember, cooking IRL doesn’t have to be a Feat of Strength!