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Crab Cakes Made Easy

Updated on July 31, 2009

Fresh crab is the Best

Whenever there is leftover anything, the challenge is to make all those ingredients into something tasty and nutritious for the next meal. Recently we were treated to a couple of pounds of Alaskan king crab legs that made a scrumptious, buttery, finger-lickin’ meal. They were preceded by a healthy crisp spinach and romaine salad with a simple extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Since there were a few left over, what to do? We could make a crab meat with cocktail sauce or combine with shrimp for a pasta dish. Often the crab shells are boiled down in water to produce a broth reduction that flavors a pasta dish. But I didn’t feel like eating pasta.

When I started splitting the legs open to retrieve the tender meat, at first the inclination was a spicy cocktail sauce to accompany the pink flesh. But no, that didn’t tantalize my taste buds as it should. Crab cakes, that’s what we wanted. I often prepare salmon cakes with the remainder of sautéed salmon. It’s an easy recipe my mom used to cook.  She used the big cans of pink salmon to combine her ingredients, and they tasted pretty darn good. I almost bought a can the other day, but knowing that all cans are lined with bisphenol A, I couldn’t do it.

The structure of BPA

A side note.

Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s, concerns about the use of bisphenol A in consumer products, especially baby bottles, were reported in the news media in 2008 after various governments issued reports questioning its safety, This inspired a few retailers to take it off their shelves, but the substance is still used in plastics and the lining of food cans, pet and human.

Back to Crab Cakes

That’s another story. Let’s stick to the crab cakes recipe. Remembering my mom’s recipe I put some lemon in the flaked crab, put a dash of salt, some red pepper, a touch of garlic, an egg, and some bread crumbs. I let this sit for about five minutes so it could get firm. Meanwhile I prepared a variation on a remoulade sauce by combining mayonnaise, some mustard, lemon juice and capers with a shake of garlic and cayenne pepper. By this time the crab mixture was firm enough to shape into the little cakes. The vegetable oil was heating in the pan so when I finished shaping the crab cakes the oil was ready. I dropped them in and turned them once when ready. Taking them out they were placed on a paper towel to sop up some of the oil.
Then they were plated with the pseudo remoulade sauce on top and Voilá, delicious.

It is truly my passion to create great, delicious meals from whatever I find in my pantry and refrigerator. Of course one has to have a “base.” We’ll talk about that another day. For now, I’ll offer a “real” recipe that one can follow precisely. This comes from They are a wonderful resource for a plethora of subjects.

A "Real" Recipe

Serve these tasty crab cakes with tartar sauce or a remoulade sauce, along with lemon wedges.

    * 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
    * 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
    * 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
    * 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
    * 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
    * 2 teaspoons finely minced red bell pepper, optional
    * 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
    * 1 1/4 cup fresh fine bread crumbs, divided

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and seasonings; set aside.

Drain crabmeat; gently squeeze to get as much of the liquid out as possible. Put crabmeat in a bowl. With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in mayonnaise mixture and 1 cup of the bread crumbs, just until blended. Shape into 8 crab cakes, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. I use a biscuit or cookie cutter with an open top to shape the cakes and press the ingredients down to make them hold together. Press gently into reserved crumbs. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

Heat clarified butter or oil over medium heat. Fry crab cakes for about 5 minutes on each side, carefully turning only once. Serve with lemon wedges and Remoulade or other sauce.


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