I don’t remember exactly when I became hooked on crab cakes, but I am. They’re right up there on my list of favourite appetizers. They also fall into the category of “things I assumed were complicated to make at home until I actually tried to make them at home”. When I did make that decision I looked around for a lot of recipes and noticed a common theme – too much filler. Then I came across a very basic one on the most random website (here). I adapted the quantities of the ingredients and method slightly and the rest is history. This is one my go to recipes.
Ingredients (I usually make 4 large crab cakes, but you can easily make 8 smaller ones, or anything in between)
- 1/2 pound snow crab leg meat
- 1/8 cup (2 tbsps) mayonnaise
- 1/8 cup (2 tbsps) finely chopped green onion
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- butter and olive oil (for frying)
- lemon wedges
For the spicy mayo: just mix 4 tablespoons of mayo with a few drops of olive oil, about 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, a few dashses of tabasco, 1 clove of crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Call it spicy mayo, call it a makeshift aioli, call it whatever you want; it’s good.
Note about the ingredient quantities: This is not baking, so you don’t need to be spot on with all of those small measurements. Just use them as a guideline and go with the flow.
- Mix egg, mayo, onion and seasonings in a bowl until combined.
- Add the crab and half of the panko bread crumbs and mix. Don’t over mix, you want the crab to remain in discernible chunks (not shredded mush).
- Form the mixture into cakes of the desired size and coat them in the remaining panko.
- Place the crab cakes on a plate covered with wax paper, cover them and place them in the fridge for at least 2 hours (this lets them solidify a bit and makes them a lot easier to manipulate when it comes time to fry them).
- Heat a non stick pan over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil and some butter.
- Fry the crab cakes until golden brown. Approximately 3 minutes on each side.
- Serve topped with spicy mayo and a lemon wedge (a bit of arugula on the plate never hurts either).
Crispy on the outside, loaded with sweet crab meat on the inside and with a bit of a kick from the spicy mayo. It’s really not complicated. I think 95% of time when crab cakes fail it’s because there’s not enough crab meat in the cake or the texture is off. Follow this recipe that relies on crab meat as the star of the show and crispy panko bread crumbs for that nice crunch and you won’t have either of those problems.