Crab Cakes

What recipe do you like for crab cakes? I can take one with some serious seasoning, because my crab is jarred from Costco i.e. not the highest quality presumably. I have all the typical pantry seasonings, and there are chives and sage in my garden rn. Thank you.

Dunno how lumpy your crab meat is, but if it is good this is a great recipe (but I pass on the sirracha in the tartar sauce - and use both dill and B&B pickles).

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My go to recipe, but I usually only make them if I have fresh Dungeness.


I’m pretty Old School when it comes to crab cakes:

1 egg, beaten
2 T. mayo
2 T. minced scallion greens
¼ t. Old Bay seasoning
¼ t. tabasco
1 lb. lump crab (or whatever ya’ got - canned is fine)
4 t. cream
10 saltine crackers, crushed (about ½ c.)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine egg, mayo, scallions, Old Bay and tabasco. Set aside.
Gently break up the crab. Drain off any liquid.
Add the cream to the crab and gently toss to combine.
Add crushed saltines and gently toss to combine.
Add egg mixture to crab and gently toss to combine. Let stand five minutes for crackers to become soft. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. Fry in oil. Makes 8 crab cakes using a 1/3 cup measure.


I like just about any crab cake, but DH doesn’t care for the ubiquitous Old Bay, so I developed a recipe of my own without it:

1 lb lump crab (or a mix of lump and backfin)
1 small shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small hot pepper, minced (I use a serrano or a small cayenne, usually)
1 T. hot sauce (my favorite is Picamas green)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. heavy mayo
1 egg
juice of half a lime
1 handful chopped fresh parsley
1 T. Wondra flour (plus a bit extra for dusting)
1 oz oyster crackers, crushed finely (saltines or other bland cracker would also work)
salt and pepper to taste

Microwave or saute shallots and garlic until just softened; let cool. Combine with all other ingredients except crab and mix well to combine. Gently fold in crab. Shape into patties (4-5 if you want them burger-sized; 8-10 for slider or appetizer size). Dust with additional Wondra (or regular flour) and pan fry or broil until hot throughout and golden brown on the outside.


I used a combo of the different ideas above last night for dinner. Mayo, dijon, egg, panko, old bay, hot sauce, scallions and crab. Fried but didn’t bread first. Chilled in the fridge 1 hr before shaping. At the end of the day, the crab quality really matters, and the 1lb of lump from Costco (Chicken of the Sea brand) really wasn’t it, chief. The taste was a bit fishy and also a bit bland, which was weird. And they had a hard time staying together. Made 5. We ate 3, and now I’m trying to think how I might repurpose the leftovers into something that tastes better. Might make some sushi rice and try a CA roll bowl.


Crab cake on a bun might put a dif slant on disappointing crab cakes.

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That’s how we ate them. On a bun. Tartar sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, pickled onions.

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How about a crab bisque? You could certainly add enough flavor to brighten it up and override the fishy taste.



I have a suggestion! For your leftovers. Lemme find it

My go to recipe is from the restaurant Boulevard in San Francisco, but only when I have access to live dungeness crab.

Essentially picked crab meat, a bit of mayo, some lemon zest, pressed into a ring mold with panko on top and bottom.

ETA oops! Too late.


If you still have leftover crab meat, making “crab cream croquettes” might be an interesting option to try. They’re very popular here in Japan, though I never make them because they’re difficult to make (as opposed to standard croquettes which aren’t). Here are two recipes you can choose from. And there are many other recipes online as well. I chose these two because they use real crab, not the fake “surimi”/“krab” stuff.


Crab Cream Croquettes

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This sounds very similar to this Tom Douglas recipe I’ve used in the past and have had good results with. For me, it’s the addition of lemon zest that elevates the dish. Also, his “crab cake rub” is a mixture of smoked paprika, salt, mustard powder, celery seed, dill seed, ground chipotle, parsley, chives, cardamom and cloves.

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Love TD’s crab cakes, in his restos, and cookbooks. I make a version out of his Crab Cakes Cookbook. Very crabby and hold together well, think I shape, and then chill for an hour before cooking.

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You might want to cover up the fishy-ness? I may be too late with this suggestion but I’ve had this in my queue for ages. Mexican crab soup

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Crab spread/dip would be good as well. Served on crackers, baguette or crudite.

Most crab cake cake recipes call for jumbo lump crab meat but I use claw meat. It’s less than half the price of jumbo lump and although darker, I think it is more flavorful.


crab caking for two, I use lump (not jumbo) . . . however just like making concrete, the distribution of particle size makes a big difference in how well the cake ‘holds together’

too large, it breaks apart, too small - that becomes more a a crab puree patty . . . .

one pound Chesapeake blue claw lump, half the amount diced into slightly smaller pieces.
never any mayo.
Old Bay
egg binder
panko as required to adjust consistency.

btw, Asian swimming crab is not the same species as blue claw, and it does taste different. if you were brought up on blue claw, you’ll likely be disappointed with the swimming crab. it was a couple years of terrible crab cakes until I discovered . . . ain’t the same stuff!

explosion spoiler alert!!!
we did a SF vacation a while back - after having heard all the dungeness crab raves, had to have some. well, both DW and I were not impressed.

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Friends from Southwest Louisiana had the same reaction. In their defense, they celebrate four seafood seasons: crab, crayfish, oyster, and shrimp.