This is the recipe to have up your sleeve for lunch on the fly with a friend, or a starter with oomph. You need only a handful of ingredients with a flavour-boosting dollop of Thai curry paste, and it’s ready to ser ve with chilli dipping sauce.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

12 fine green beans
250g fresh or canned crabmeat, drained
2 tbsp good mayonnaise
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp groundnut oil
Thai chilli dipping sauce

1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and drop in the beans. Cook for 1 minute, then drain well and cool quickly under running water. Chop finely.
2. Put the beans in a bowl, add the crabmeat (if using canned, drain well first), the mayonnaise, coriander and curry paste.
3. Stir in half the breadcrumbs. Take a spoonful of the mixture and shape into rounds a little bigger than an apricot. Roll in the remaining breadcrumbs, patting them all round into neat shape. Freeze for 10 minutes if you have time.
4. Heat the groundnut oil in a pan and fr y the cakes gently for 1-2 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately with a bowlful of Thai dipping sauce.

For a canape, use a teaspoon to scoop up the mixture and make them bite-sized. Serve in individual Little Gem leaves topped with a spoonful of Thai dipping sauce and a coriander leaf to garnish.