The Fruity Salsa That Will Spice Up Your Crab Cakes

Seafood and salsa are an ideal matchup of summery ingredients and the perfect way to take advantage of in-season produce for a snack on your patio or in the park. You may imagine fish tacos when you think of this pairing, as it tends to be the more common way to do it, but if you want to branch out while retaining all the tasty elements of the two, try prepping a mango-based recipe to go with crab cakes instead.

Classic crab cakes are made with a creamy ingredient (like half and half or mayo), a crunchy element (like breadcrumbs or crushed crackers), flavorings (such as Dijon mustard), an egg for a binder — and of course, the seafood star of the show. That leaves you with a rich, buttery patty filled with creaminess on the inside and crispiness on the outside. What you don't wind up with is a punch of flavor, which is where the mango salsa comes in. Not only do the fresh ingredients in this topping brighten up the creaminess of the crab cakes, but you can pack yours full of zesty flavorings that pop amidst the milder seafood.

The fresher ingredients the better

We would highly recommend making your mango salsa by hand, as the fresh, juicy ingredients are the main reason this condiment works so well with crab cakes. It doesn't have to be hard — typically an easy mango salsa just involves chopped fruits and veggies stirred together. You'll need fresh mangoes, of course, which you can easily peel with a water glass. From there, throw in punchy additions like red onion, lemon or lime juice, and a chili pepper or jalapeño, along with flavorings like cilantro or parsley, garlic, and green onion. To provide a little more freshness and texture, you can also dice up a bell pepper or a handful of cherry tomatoes.

The beauty of this mango salsa is that you can prep it a day in advance if you want, which can make it even tastier as it gives the ingredients a chance to marinate together. While the fruity elements provide the perfect balance of flavor to the buttery seafood, you can also throw some diced, sauteed bell pepper, red onion, or jalapeño into your crab cakes to match their profiles a little more. And if you don't want to stop there, a squeeze of avocado sauce perfectly complements the brightness of the produce in the salsa.