Crab Cakes

Ok, show of hands….how many of you love crab cakes?  Now keep your hand raised if you think they’re too difficult to make in your own kitchen.  Nearly everyone?  That’s what I thought.

I love crab cakes, but they’re just so delicate.  This is my second time to ever attempt at making them.  The first time I tried was about a year ago. They tasted good, but they were less like crab cakes and more like crab heaps.  It was so frustrating trying to flip them over in the skillet and they just crumbled.

As you can see, the second attempt turned out much better.  Here are a few tips I learned between attempt #1 and attempt #2:

  • First of all, a non-stick skillet is much more cooperative.  If all you have is stainless steel, that will work, but it’s significantly more difficult.
  • Second, don’t make your patties too big.  I used a pound of crab meat both times, but the first time I made 4 large-ish patties (about like a hamburger patty).  This go-round, I made 8 little patties.  This makes them much lighter and they fit better on a spatula.
  • Third, do not move the crab cake!  When you first put it in the skillet (especially stainless steel) it will adhere to the hot skillet.  And your instinct will be to move it and detach it.  But, if you let it sit, once the cake itself heats up, it will detach on its own from the skillet and adhere to itself.  You should only touch the crab cake to flip it once, and that’s it

This recipe is a simple version of crab cakes and it also includes a tartar sauce (which was great).  So have no fear!  Crab cakes should be enjoyed in your own home!  Not just in a seafood restaurant.

Crab Cakes

Yields: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 crab cakes

Crab Cakes


  • Tartar Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of ground red pepper
  • Crab Cakes:
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, divided (more if needed)
  • olive or canola oil for pan


  1. Mix all tartar sauce ingredients except lemon juice and red pepper.  Add lemon juice and red pepper to taste.  Store in fridge until ready to use.
  2. To prepare crab cakes, drain crabmeat on several  layers of paper towels.  Place crab meat in mixing bowl.  Add bell pepper, mayonnaise, pepper, onion, lemon zest and egg.  Toss very gently until combined and all ingredients are well distributed.
  3. Add 1/4 cup panko and toss again.  Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in a shallow dish.
  4. Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions.  Form each portion into a patty about 3/4 inches high.  Dredge each patty in panko, on both sides, pressing bread crumbs in gently.
  5. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  When hot, add a drizzle of oil to lightly coat bottom of pan. Place a few patties in the pan (spaced so that none of them touch each other) and cook for about 3 minutes.  Let patty cook for a full 3 minutes before flipping.  Flip patties and cook for another 3 minutes, until both sides are golden brown.  Repeat with remaining crab cakes and serve with tartar sauce.

Source: Our Best Bites


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