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Crab Cakes Two Ways — Beginner and Expert

Crab is a lovely Christmastime luxury. While I love it freshly cracked, there is something undeniably glamorous about crispy, flaky crab cakes. Miniature crab cakes are scrumptious, bite-size appetizers and the larger version is delicious as a first course served over a bed of greens. Perhaps it's because my mother was born in Maryland, but I feel every home cook should know how to make crab cakes. For that reason I've found two recipes for you to enjoy; one is simple and the other a little more challenging. To check them out,

Beginner Crab Cakes
From Mark Laubner

1 lb. crabmeat
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise
1 heaping tsp. mustard
1/4 cup crushed crackers or bread crumbs
2 tbsp. olive oil

  1. Place crabmeat into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, seafood seasoning, parsley flakes, dry mustard, mayonnaise, and prepared mustard. Add cracker crumbs to the mixture.
  3. Fold dressing into crabmeat, being careful not to break up the crabmeat. Shape into slightly flattened patties and chill for at least a half an hour.
  4. Sauté the cakes in 2 tbsp. of oil on both sides until they are golden brown, or broil until golden brown on each side.

The number of crab cakes depend on their size.

Expert Crab Cakes
From Tyler Florence

1 1/2 stalks celery heart, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 bunches of scallion, green part only, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black and white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
1/2 cup smoked salmon
1 cup whipped cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
Hot sauce (recommended: Crystal's)
1 pound jumbo lump crab
3 cups seasoned bread crumbs
5 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil, divided for frying
2 tablespoons butter, divided for frying
Remoulade, for serving, recipe follows

  1. In a big heavy-bottomed frying pan, sauté celery, peppers, onions, scallions in 1 tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons oil until soft about 8–10 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, basil and thyme, salt and white pepper, cook 1 minute. Add parsley and garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Remove pan from stove, set aside to cool.
  3. Finely chop smoked salmon, then flatten it, using the blade of a kitchen knife. Add the salmon to the whipped cream in a large mixing bowl. Add dill and season with salt and white pepper. Add 1/2 of the lemon juice and blend gently with spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of the sautéed vegetables and herbs to the mixture. Fold egg whites into mixture to create a mousse.
  4. Check the crabmeat for pieces of shell and put in a large clean bowl. Season with 1 cup of bread crumbs, salt, pepper, hot sauce and remaining lemon juice.
  5. Fold in mousse, taking care not to over mix it.
  6. Fold in the rest of the vegetables and herbs and another cup of bread crumbs. Blend it together very carefully with your hands taking care not to break up any of the crabmeat and overwork the mousse.
  7. Gently work into little cakes and pat the outsides with more bread crumbs. Set aside.
  8. Heat the remaining tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown on each side. Only turn them once after the bottom side is browned.

Serves 6–8.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended Crystal's)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Chop all vegetable ingredients. Place in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly then refrigerate.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Join The Conversation
FashionKid FashionKid 9 years
iam goign to make this at home
FashionKid FashionKid 9 years
definetly going to bew makng this at home.
caramelqtee75 caramelqtee75 9 years
I love carb cakes so much
I'm very picky about crab cakes, and those both look like they have too much breading in them. I have had one recipe with a lot of breading that I enjoyed, but it was unique, and the focus was taken off the crab. I wanna be able to see that I'm eating crab.
ChrissyBaby ChrissyBaby 9 years
I agree with the Marylanders. I am a coastal Virginia girl and avid seafood lover. The beginner recipe is much more accurate. The other recipe is too frilly foo foo. Definitely use lump crab meat! :-)
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I think they both sound divine! The second may not be a real traditional crab cake, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be delicious! :feedme:
Erin214 Erin214 9 years
I agree, being from Baltimore, it would be an absolute abomination to put SMOKED salmon in a crab cake. Please use the easy recipe to make a "real" crab cake.
Mel475 Mel475 9 years
Ohhh,I love crab cakes! When they're done right, they are divine! I love having them with a salad for a perfect lunch or light dinner. Now I want crab cakes!!!!!!!!!!
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
I think crab cakes are overrated. Why add all breading when crab just by itself is perfect?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
As another girl born and raised in Maryland , I have to agree with DC Star, go with the "beginner recipe". A recipe very similar to that recipe has been used in my family for generations to much acclaim. The crabmeat, itself, is so yummy it really doesn't need too many other ingredients overwhelming its flavor.
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
crab cakes w/ mixed greens @ the farmers market//ferry building BEST BFAST on a Sat morning w/ views that are to die for. I think I will be doing that this weekend if its not raining yum yum yum!!
emalove emalove 9 years
I love crab cakes...I've had some lousy ones though, so I'm kind of picky about them. These recipes sound great though!
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 9 years
I LOVE crab cakes! I will have to try this out...:)
DCStar DCStar 9 years
As a girl born and raised in Maryland, I'm here to say NO! to the fancy crabcakes!! The "beginner" recipe is much more accurate and delicious. TIP: For really fabulous crab cakes, you want to have big clumps of meat, so don't skimp out and buy canned crab meat!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Added it to my favorites! I am going to cook this up mone night!
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