Preparation / Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Spread the masa harina on a baking sheet and toast until it turns a nice golden brown and it begins to smell of roasted nuts, about 12 minutes, stirring once at about the halfway point to ensure even coloring. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To make the crab cakes, in a bowl, combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, chili, green onion, lemon juice, cilantro, salt, oregano, ground pepper and cumin. Toss together with a spoon until well blended and the pieces of crab meat lightly adhere to one another.
Divide the crab mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each portion into a ball. Flatten each ball into a round cake 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Place the cakes on the toasted masa harina, and turn them to coat evenly on all sides. Using your hands, press in the masa harina until the cakes are evenly but lightly coated and uniformly shaped. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate until needed, or as long as overnight.
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Slip the crab cakes into the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the crab cakes and continue to cook, reducing the heat slightly to ensure the cakes heat through but do not overbrown, until golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly, then place on warmed individual plates. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.
Preparation Time: 35 minutes Servings: 4