Crab cakes! Oh yes! Need I say more? I was thinking of simply just posting pictures of them because I think the pictures alone are enough… but this is a food blog. And it’s helpful to share tips about making the crab cakes and to talk about options when making them. But really, do we need words? 😉
Okay, so my ultimate favorite food in the entire world is crab cakes. When I was a kid, fried chicken was my favorite food, but the moment I had a crab cake, that ALLLLL changed. And I have been obsessed ever since. When I go to a seafood restaurant (or any restaurant that dares to try amazing me with their crab cakes), I have to try the crab cakes. I’ve joked with my husband that I should start a food blog/food critic site just about crab cakes. We joked about it… but I may actually do it someday! Why? Because there are sooooo many BAD crab cakes out there! What the heck ya’ll?!? It’s crab meat! Don’t destroy it by pulverizing it and then frying the crap out of it. Treat it with respect! Leave it lumpy! Don’t add so much bread crumb that you can’t even taste the crab meat. AND DON’T FRY IT TO DEATH! You brown the top and bottom. That’s it! It should crumble. It should be messy and it should taste crabby! Yes, people who like seafood like to taste their crab.
These crab cakes are so simple to make and they produce a restaurant worthy crab cake. You can make a bunch of them at once and eat some for dinner and freeze the rest for another meal. Simply thaw them in the fridge the night before and then grill them in a pan with a tiny bit of oil.
Because I live in California now, it is a little hard to come by Blue Crab (which is my favorite kind of crab). So I buy about 6 cans of the crab meat from Trader Joes for this recipe. I grew up in the South and my roots are all about home cooked Southern food. I have lots of memories of my family picking crabs together and setting the meat aside so we could make crab cakes. Of course, it’s very hard to stay focused when you are picking Blue Crab. Usually, for every five pieces of meat you set aside, one ends up in your mouth 😉
These crab cakes are made with mostly crab meat. There is a handful of saltines, eggs and some mayo to help bind the crab meat together. It’s flavored with Old Bay seasoning, bell pepper, garlic, green onions, parsley and Dijon mustard. You can also add a dash of Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce to your liking. I opted for just black pepper this time and they were still amazing as ever! My family uses different things to bind the crab meat. Some recipes call for mashed potatoes instead of the crackers. The key is to use majority crab meat so the crab is the star of the recipe 🙂 Once you’ve combined all the ingredients without over mixing, you can form the crab cakes by hand very easily and then chill the cakes for half an hour to an hour to make them easier to handle.
When you brown the two sides of the crab cake, you’re just using a simple bread crumb like Panko. Also a tiny bit of olive oil works. And simply turn the cakes a few times, allowing them to brown and bind together. I fry them in the pan, four at a time (so I have plenty of room to flip), and then line them all up on a foil covered baking pan and bake them in the oven with a pat of butter and lemon juice squeezed on top. This helps to bake the butter into the crab cake. And who doesn’t like butter with their crab 😉
It doesn’t take long to cook the crab cakes. They require a few minutes in the pan and then a few minutes in the oven. And once they are baked, you can enjoy them right away, or store them in freezer safe bags for later. If you keep them in the fridge overnight, the flavors combine even further and they taste even better! The crab cakes work great as an appetizer, as a meat for your meal, or even on a burger bun! YUMMY!!!
Be sure to make the crab cakes on the smaller side so you end up with about 16 of them from this recipe. This way, you’ll have plenty for the whole family (or you’ll end up with leftovers for another night). We enjoy our crab cakes with a very simple to make dipping sauce that’s just made up of mayo, ketchup and lemon juice. Spoon this sauce on top of your crab cakes and enjoy them warm! Sooooo delicious!
Here’s the recipe: