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How to Make Great Gluten-Free Crab Cakes

Updated on August 29, 2012

Start With Great Crab

Crab cakes are one of my absolute favorite foods, but one that I can never order in a restaurant or buy pre-made in the grocery store: they use all-purpose flour or breadcrumbs as a binder. It’s quite unnecessary, and this recipe demonstrates it by using egg as the binder.

You can use any type of crab meat for your crab cakes, but my preference is dungeness crab. Dungeness crabs, native to the west coast of North America, are prized for having the highest meat to shell ratio in the crab family.

The crab cakes on their way to the refrigerator to let the egg and cream set.
The crab cakes on their way to the refrigerator to let the egg and cream set. | Source


  • 1 lb crab meat, removed from the shell
  • 3.5 oz sea scallops
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 4-6 drops tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Place the scallops, egg, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse until blended.
  2. Add the cream slowly in a stream to the food processor until incorporated.
  3. Place the blended scallop mixture in a large non-reactive bowl and add crab, tomato, mustard, cilantro, and tabasco. Fold gently together.
  4. Shape the crab blend into paddies that are about 1/4″ thick and 3" in diameter.
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can make the crab cakes ahead of time up to this point and leave to refrigerate for several hours.
  6. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Saute the crab cakes for 2 1/2 minutes per side.
  8. Drain on paper towels and serve.

How Not to Screw It Up

  1. Be patient and let those crab cakes refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Longer is better. You need time for the egg to set and bind. Otherwise, your crab cakes will crumble.
  2. Medium-high heat is the perfect setting. If you splash droplet of water on your hot pan, they should dance around to evaporate. Too low a temperature and you will never crisp the outside of the crab cake. Too high a temperature and you will have a crispy outside with cold inside. Neither is desirable. If you err on the wrong side, higher is better. Just move the crab cakes around the pan a few times to keep them from burning.
  3. Be patient with the oil. Let the pan get hot, then add the oil, and let the oil get hot before you start cooking. Otherwise, your crab cakes will soak up the olive oil instead of cooking in it, and they come out too oily.

Tried This Recipe? Rate it.

5 stars from 2 ratings of Gluten Free Crab Cakes


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    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Will do, Thanks MickiS!!!

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      You can. The difference is that the scallops won't get blended into a liquid with the cream and egg. So, you'll end up with a little "chunkier" texture.

      Do try it, and let me know how it goes!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi MickiS, enjoyed this as i love crab cakes also! I wanted to ask, is it possible to do this recipe without a blender as i don't have one at the moment!!? Love the simplicity without the flour and breadcrumbs, sounds very tasty also!!