Good crab cakes are all about the crab. I know, that was a genius deduction. I’ve had crab cakes that were fabulous and I’ve had crab cakes that were dismal. The good ones will bring out the flavor of the crab, with simple, enhancing accompaniments.
This recipe for perfectly simple crab cakes adds scallions, melted butter, Dijon, some Old Bay seasoning and a bit of hot sauce, all unique while allowing the crab flavor to shine through. And the preparation method in this recipe will ensure the cakes stay together, use minimal fat and still attain a crispy bottom.
But fresh crab meat can be pricy, especially for us inlanders. For this recipe, one pound of fresh lump crab was $20.00 and this recipe will make four large cakes or eight appetizer-size crab cakes. if you’re going to make the investment of fresh lump crab (yes, you should), the payoff better be worth it, right?
Before I attempted a crab cake recipe on Good Dinner Mom, I knew the bar was set high because I have sisters-in-law who live in Alaska and Seattle and they obviously know their seafood. But I think they will approve of this recipe.
Plan ahead, since the prepared cakes need to refrigerate to help with the whole staying in the shape of a patty and not becoming scrambled crab mix while cooking.
The method of preparation is simple and fool-proof from here, now that I’ve beaten you over the head about the importance of fresh crab. You won’t be sorry. You just might be sorry that you didn’t buy 2 pounds and double the recipe! As you can see, they’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Perfectly simple, yet perfectly tasty.
Cook’s note: I made tartar sauce in case anyone wanted it, and we all agree that sauce of any kind is not necessary. Also, my family likes them very crispy, like shown, on the outside. I prefer them less so, but during cooking, you can crisp them to your personal preference.
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
- ½ cup saltine crumbs, divided
- 3 scallions, minced
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 teaspoons hot sauce (I love Frank's original)
- 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Dry the crabmeat well with paper towels. Using a rubber spatula, gently combine the crabmeat, ¼ cup of the crack crumbs, the scallions, melted butter, mayonnaise, egg yolk, mustard, hot sauce, and Old Bay in a large bowl.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions (or 8 for appetizers) and shape into tight, mounded cakes. Press the top of each cake in the remaining ¼ cup cracker crumbs (Do not skip this step. This ensures the bottoms of the cakes do not come out soggy. And only press one side into the crumbs). Transfer the cakes, crumb side down, to a large plate and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
- Adjust an oven rack to the center position in your oven and heat the broiler. Grease an 8 by 8-inch square are in the center of a rimmed baking sheet with the softened butter. Transfer the crab cakes to the prepared baking sheet, crumb side down. Broil until the crab cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.
This recipe is adapted from McCormick’s and Schmick’s and America’s Test Kitchen 2011.
Trupp Cooking School.