Tempura Spicy Tuna Crab Cakes

Japanese Food Week’s been going great here at Eating in Bed, and it’s not about to stop now.  We’ll hopefully have enough to put up recipes into next week!


This one is for Tempura Spicy Tuna Crab Cakes.  I wasn’t sure if I should call them Tempura Seafood Balls or Crab Cakes, but Crab Cakes defines what’s actually in the dish much better.  It brings together the flaky delicate flavors of Alaskan King Crab Legs and the Spicy Tuna Puree that sushi lovers have come to connect with Sushi and Japanese Cuisine.  Then we kicked up the flavor dial by adding an internal crunch from some Panko Bread Crumbs and a big time crunch from the Tempura Batter, which is much lighter than a Flour dredge.



  • 1/3 – 1/2 Lb Tuna Filet
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Sriracha (Depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tsp Light Mayo
  • 1 Cup Jumbo Lump Crab Meat (We used Alaskan King Crab, but that’s quite expensive)
  • A batch of TEMPURA BATTER
  • 2/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Oil
Deep Fried Crab Cakes
Photography by Tim Kern


  1. Combine the Tuna, Sesame Oil, Mayo, and Sriracha in a food processor or blender
  2. Pulse until pureed
  3. Combine that with the Crab Meat and Panko Bread Crumbs
  4. If it’s still too runny you can add extra Mayo or Bread Crumbs
  5. Bring a Wok or Large Pot to Medium High Heat with the Oil in it (If the oil starts to smoke lower the heat to Medium)
  6. Form the mixture into 1′ Balls
  7. Roll the Balls  in the Tempura Batter
  8. Drip excess Batter then into the oil!
  9. Fry about 1 Minute per side until the Balls are Golden Brown
  10. Don’t cook more than 4 Crab Cakes at a time to keep the oil hot
  11. Remove from Oil and place on either a cooling rack or paper towel to drip
Alaskan King Crab and Bluefin Tuna
Photography by Tim Kern

These Crab Cakes/Seafood Balls are delicious, they’re rich, spicy, crunchy, and still retain the delicate flavors of the Tuna and Crab.   These will make a great appetizer, and I’ve got another version of them without the Tempura Batter that I’ll post soon.  So let me know what you think and be sure to comment on Facebook!


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