Panko Crusted Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes…with Panko, and Some Pictures…

I am baaaack…and want to share with you a simple recipe for crab cakes and some of my vacation pictures.

I love crab cakes, every time when in restaurants that serve crab cakes I am ordering…so I decided to make myself. After searching for recipes throughout the internet I opted out to come out with my own version, which I must confess that I kind of mix and match what I thought I would like in my crab cake…and yes I used panko for the crust. After making these crab cakes I realized that they are so simple to make…

The good thing about making your own crab cakes, is that you can store them in the freezer and bake or pan fry anytime when you feel like having it. Just freeze on a flat tray until frozen so the cakes stay nicely shaped, then you can place them in a Ziploc bag.

When it is time to serve, just defrost for approximately half an hour (do not have to be totally defrosted) and you can either bake or pan fry with a little oil. I can guarantee you that you will not be able to tell that they were frozen. It is very good to have it handy in the freezer.


1 lb. crab meat in can
2 small potatoes, cooked and slightly mashed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
1 egg
1 teaspoon dry parsley (I’d rather use fresh one, but did not have at the time)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.


Canola oil, spray


In a big bowl, add the crab meat, green onion, bell pepper, parsley, bay seasoning, salt and pepper and mix gently. Add to the crab mixture the lemon juice, lemon zest and the egg. Again very gently because I like my crab cakes with lumps of crab meat and not all smashed.

In a deep dish place the panko, make

Make small patties and coat with panko.

Spray the patties with the canola oil and bake in a 400F pre heated oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for crab cakes and as I mention, great to have them in the freezer for an elegant appetizer of even as a meal with a side of salad.

Now the pictures…lots of pampering and relaxation. Can you guess where did we go?

and yes…those are my toes :-)


If you still wondering where we were…it was Cancun, Mexico!

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Chinese Steamed Buns

Hello! I am back and I hope you all had a great weekend…we went to Beijing for vacation. Being that this was my first time in China, I must tell you, it was amazing…I will, in the future, share some of the pictures that we took.

Being in China and exposed to all the Chinese food, all of a sudden I asked myself “how come I have not made Chinese steamed bread/bun?” Well, most of the time I would buy them frozen at the local Asian grocery store, either plain or filled with savory meat/vegetarian or the sweet version. Very different from when I used to live in Brazil.  Because the Asian goods were not ready available, we had to make everything from scratch. After moving to US, we just got spoiled since we could find all the goodies easily available.

I remember the first time  I introduced this buns to my husband, he looked at me and said “are you sure that this is cooked? It seems raw…” Even as I place the bun into my mouth, he was still hesitant but finally gave in and tried…Now he loves the homemade ones; he even spreads the buns with peanut butter and jelly or makes a sandwich with it.

These buns are very soft and pillowy… I love “playing” with the dough and making different shapes or into simple rolls. You can store the buns in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Just place them in the steamer for 10 to 15 minutes and you have a hot and steamy bun. Believe me this recipe is very simple!


Starter dough

1/3 cup warm water
1 ½ teaspoon yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Main Dough

1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch, complete with all-purpose flour to final measurement of 1 ½ cup
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup warm water


Starter dough

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and add the yeast. Mix gently and let it rest for approximately 5 minutes, add the flour. Mix and let the starter dough rest in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, until the surface is bubbly.

Final dough

In the bread machine bucket add the starter dough and the remaining ingredients from the main dough, except the water. Set the bread machine to the dough setting, slowly add the water until the dough is soft and smooth. When the dough cycle finishes, remove the dough from the bucket and place in a medium bowl cover with a plastic film and let the dough proof until it doubles its original size. It will take approximately 1 to 2 hours, depending of the room temperature.

Once the dough double its original size, knock the dough back (punch in down) gently and it is time to shape them…now the fun begins!

In this particular case, I divided the dough into 10 equal pieces and shaped them differently. I even added green onion in a couple of them.

Once you shape the buns, place them on parchment paper, cover with plastic film and let them rise in a warm place for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until almost double in size.

In the meantime get the steamer going. Place the buns in the steamer, making sure that there is enough space between the buns. Steam the buns in boiling medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful when removing the buns from the steamer so the steam condensation does not drip on the buns.

Transfer the buns to a rack to cool. Serve them hot/warm.

Store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

If you enjoy this Chinese steamed buns you may want to check on this other Asian bread recipes like Red Bean Buns or Asian Style Sandwich Loaf from Simple Recipes.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Panko Crusted Panela Cheese

If you already are amazed by the large quantity of Costco products you will be speechless once you see the sizes of the cheeses, meat, and produce at their Business Center.
Well, I came back with a huge piece of panela cheese and I knew that we would not be able to finish the cheese before it started to turn bad, and decided to prepare it in a way that could be stored in a freezer…this was sure an experiment, but luckily it worked great.

First, I need to admit that I was a little nervous since I never froze this kind of cheese, so I prepared an extra batch just to be frozen. After a few days, I pan fried the panko crusted cheese and voila, I could not tell the difference from the freshly prepared ones, so I went ahead and prepared all the remaining cheese.

I like this cheese because it has a similar texture to paneer. Once you cook it, it holds its shapes, not like mozzarella which will, in this case, “leak” out of the crust. Moreover, you can serve it as an appetizer or as a main dish, paired with salad.


Panela Cheese
Panko + dry oregano to taste
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
Oil for pan fry


Slice the panela cheese into approximately ½ inch thick and 2 ½ by 1 inch size rectangles. Coat with flour and dip into the egg mix. Then cover with panko mix. At this point, you can pan fry with a little oil, until the panko crust turns golden or freeze for future use.
Serve hot/warm.

To freeze the cheese, place the cheese coated with panko in a tray, single layer. After a couple of hours in the freezer, remove the frozen cheese from the tray and store in freezer bags.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe using Panela cheese.


Panela cheese or queso panela is used in many Mexican dishes. When fresh, it has a similar texture to mozzarella, but once cooked, it carries a very different texture, since it does not melt like mozzarella cheese.

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Mochi Bacon Cheese Balls

A while ago, I posted a recipe for “mochi cheese balls”, which uses only Parmesan cheese. I adapted the previous recipe by adding Muenster cheese, which give the cheese balls more color and a softer texture due to the melted Muenster cheese. Moreover, bacon bites were added, so you can imagine the taste of these cheese balls. This is a very easy and simple recipe, whenever you want to enjoy a tasty snack or complement a meal, just place these frozen cheese balls in a pre-heated oven for about 25 ~ 30 minutes at 275F and you are ready to receive compliments.


1 ½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ cup glutinous rice flour
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup chopped Muenster cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup homemade bacon bits


In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil and carefully add to the tapioca and glutinous rice flour. Mix gently until you can manage with your hands (be careful it is very hot). Alternatively add the eggs, the Muenster cheese and the Parmesan cheese until a dough is formed. Add the bacon bits (check the recipe here) and mix until the bacon is well incorporated to the dough. Make small balls (you can freeze at this point if you desire), bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 275F. Serve warm. Makes approximately 50 to 60 cheese balls.


Did you know that Muenster cheese was originally made by Benedictine monks in France? In US, this cheese in mainly used melted since it melts easily over low heat. Therefore used in grilled sandwich and hamburger.

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