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How to make crab cakes (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
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4.8 from 10 votes

How to Make Crab Cakes

How to make crab cakes that taste like crab, are easy to make, reasonable on the wallet, and adaptable to your taste. Yes, it's possible.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Crab Cakes

  • 1/2 lb handpicked lump crab meat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of kosher sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 c (about 6) saltine crackers, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp butter (for baking) or vegetable oil (for sauteing)
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges for presentation

Tartar Sauce

  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 Tbsp shallots, minced
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • Pinch of kosher sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • First, combine the egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Old Bay, Worcestershire and salt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. 
  • Next, gently go through the lump crab meat with your fingers to make sure it’s free of the shell and hard cartilage. Set aside. 
  • Crumble the saltine crackers either by hand or in a mortar and pestle.
  • Now, add the crackers and lump crab meat to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture and carefully combine everything together.
  • Tightly cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

If you bake them:

  • Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450°F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with butter. 
  • Form patties by hand (you can first put the mixture in a 1/2-c measuring cup – that’ll give you a nice sized patty) and place on the prepared baking dish. 
  • Brush the top of the crab cakes with some more melted butter.
  • Put crab cakes in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. If you’d like a little crustier outside, put them under the broiler for the last 3 minutes. 
  • Just before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them. Serve immediately.

If you saute them:

  • Form patties by hand (you can first put the mixture in a 1/2-c measuring cup – that’ll give you a nice sized patty). 
  • Heat some vegetable oil over medium heat in a nonstick frying pan.
  • Add crab cakes and fry for about 4 minutes per side until golden brown.
  • Just before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them. Serve immediately.

Tartar Sauce

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve over crab cakes.

Notes