Perfectly simple crab cakes are perfectly tasty here with scallions, butter, Old Bay Seasoning and a bit of hot sauce for kick. Chunky and tender, perfect.
I’ve made several different crab cake recipes, many that say “no fillers” and are pretty much just crab meat with some binding liquids and those are great. And others have a lot of added ingredients, also tasty, but the crab kind of gets lost when there are a lot of other ingredients. I think this recipe is a happy medium with added scallions and green bell pepper, plus a lovely combination of mayo, Dijon, hot sauce, and Old Bay Seasoning. One egg yolk helps to hold everything together.
This recipe for perfectly simple crab cakes allows the crab flavor to shine through, and the preparation method in this recipe will ensure the cakes stay together, plus a little trick to attain a crispy bottom.
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, the payoff better be worth it, right? Update- There have been times when I wanted crab cakes but didn’t have time to go to the seafood market; so I’ve diverted and bought canned crab-claw meat a few times when making this recipe and they were still quite tasty.
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. 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 (or canned crab claw meat)
- ½ cup saltine crumbs, divided
- 3 scallions, minced
- ¼ green bell pepper, minced (only about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter, divided plus 1 Tablespoon softened butter
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 teaspoons hot sauce, I often use Frank's, adjust a little less with hotter sauces, like Tabasco.
- 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon butter (again), for brushing on the crab just before bakine
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Dry 1 pound crabmeat well with paper towels. Using a rubber spatula, gently combine crabmeat, ¼ cup saltine crumbs, 3 minced scallions, ¼ minced green pepper, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise, the 1 egg yolk, 1 Tablespoon Dijon, 3 teaspoons hot sauce (or less if very hot), and 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning in a large bowl.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions (or 8 for appetizers) and shape into tight, mounded cakes. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup saltine crumbs evenly on a large plate, big enough that your crab cakes will all fit. Form the portions into patties and place firmly on the top of the crumbs on the plate so the crumbs will stick to the bottom of the patties later. This ensures the bottoms of the cakes to not come out soggy. Cover the plate of crab cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate, for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
- Adjust an oven rack to the center position in your oven and heat the broiler. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with the softened butter. Transfer the crab cakes to the prepared baking sheet, crumb side down. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and gently brush a little over each of the crab cakes. Place the cakes in the oven and 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.
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