I love crab cakes. I order them whenever I see them on the menu. Crab is probably my favorite seafood and, really, what can’t be improved by frying? It is a delicate flavor that can be just as easily enhanced or disguised. I have had amazing crab cakes and I have had crab cakes that the restaurant should have been ashamed to call crab. My favorite crab cakes were from a restaurant in Seattle. I had them several times and then came back to find the restaurant had changed their menu and their crab cakes! I was so sad. The restaurant’s website did have a crab cake recipe on it, but it just wasn’t the same.
So I set out to make my perfect crab cake. The recipe below is what I have come up with. The vegetables add crunch because I do not saute them first (but you may if the softer mouthfeel is what you desire). The only seasoning I use is salt and pepper and I use just barely enough mayonnaise to hold it all together. To me, the recipe below showcases the crab instead of masking it and has become exactly what I am looking for when I need a quick and affordable crab cake fix.
Besides, the extra flavor comes from the aioli! To be completely honest, about half the time that I crave crab cakes, what I am really craving is the chipotle aioli. Try saying that five times fast. I let the words slur together and call it “Chip-oat-lee-oh-lee”. Chipotle Aioli. Play around with it to make your own. Leave out the chipotle sauce and you have a basic aioli. Add more or less of any of the ingredients to change the flavor or add something besides chipotle. Herbs, peppers or chilies, saffron, whatever you want!
I use canned crab meat because I am always able to find it and it is much easier than dismantling the crab myself. Just make sure the canned variety is real! No K-Rab for me!
- Crab Cakes
- 20 ounces Jumbo Lump Crab
- 1/4 Small White Onion, minced
- 1/4 Red Bell Pepper, minced
- 1/4 Green Bell Pepper, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (approximate)
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- Vegetable Oil
- Chipotle Aioli
- 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- Pinch Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Chipotle Hot Sauce
- Note: Raw garlic is potent so it should be very finely minced to avoid biting into a chunk of garlic. I like to use my microplane grater to accomplish this. A cheese grater or garlic press will also work.
- Crab Cakes
- -Mix crab meat, onion, bell peppers, salt and pepper in bowl
- -Fold in just enough mayonnaise so that crab mixture holds together when formed into ball
- -Shape crab mixture into disks about 2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick
- -Spread breadcrumbs on a plate and gently press formed cakes into breadcrumbs to coat
- -Heat 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet
- -Working with four at a time, gently place crab cakes in oil and fry until golden brown, flipping once
- -Add more oil to the pan if necessary for your next batch
- -Serve hot on a bed of greens
- -Drizzle with aioli (or serve on the side)
- Chipotle Aioli
- -Mix all ingredients together
- -Taste and adjust according to your preferences