Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

I grew up in northern Michigan where fresh water fish are plentiful.  Real crab meat was always considered a plastic-wrapped daydream in the seafood section of my hometown grocery store.  In fact, my first experience with crab cakes was in college when a couple of friends and I dined at a “fancy” restaurant to celebrate the end of finals.  They were terrible!  As I have grown older, I have had the opportunity to enjoy more flavorful crab cake varieties.  But, I have never attempted to make them myself.

So when crab meat came on sale recently, I knew it was time to give it a whirl.  I have no doubt this recipe will be tweaked and adjusted as I road test it on my friends.  But for now, these are wonderfully moist with a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes.

Crab Cakes
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Appetizers
Serves: 8 patties
  • 2 Tbl. + ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbl. butter
  • ½ cup celery, small diced
  • ¼ cup onion, small diced
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, small diced
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbl. mayo
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat
  1. In a small sauté pan, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the celery, onion, green pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic powder to the pan. Toss constancy and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the green peppers are tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Toss the Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, mayo and Dijon mustard in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Add the crab meat, bread crumbs and the sautéed vegetables to the mixing bowl. Mix until fully incorporated together.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Form the crab mixture into 6 – 8 patties and place onto the lined sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This step is very important to keep the patties from falling apart during the frying process.
  4. In a large frying pan, heat ¼ cup olive oil to medium high. Gently add the crab cake patties to the hot oil. Fry for three minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Drain the crab cakes on paper towel. Serve with your favorite tartar sauce.


  1. Miss Mary says

    Crab is at $17/# OUCH!
    I’m going to make these as a Christmas TREAT! The big chunks of crab really look soooo appealing! A little roasted red pepper remoulade and possibly add a little Old Bay seasoning to the cakes.
    I asked DH if he liked crab cakes and his reply was “yes and no”. He used to work at a subsidized account in Virginia that made them FRESH daily, so he was extremely spoiled and hasn’t really cared for them since. Of course they fried them in butter……everything tastes better with butter!

    I made some salmon cakes as an appetizer for a party at the store and had to bake them, because I only have my easy bake oven. They turned out great – no flipping – no grease – better for you and all that. hmmmm maybe I’ll do that with these and save some calories for dessert!

    I guess I’m chatty this a.m. – off to work.

  2. says

    I agree, a very straighforward recipe…
    I have made Ina Garten’s recipe many times, but I love the addition of the red pepper flakes in this one.
    Will give this one a go and report back…!

    Also beautiful image, Cory…love the curvy plate against the red stripes…

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