Crab Cakes Recipe

May 10, 2006 26 Comments


Crab Cakes Recipe

Or as my kids call them, “Crabby Patties”

Whenever I tell people how easy it is to make crab cakes they look at me as if I’m kidding. I tell them, “If you can prepare a meatloaf and cook a hamburger, you can make a great crab cake!”

If you are a purist and want to do it right, you would buy a bunch of blue clawed crabs, boiling them up, chill the creatures and spend hours picking the meat from their tiny little claws.

I remember as a kid, my dad taking us down to my grandfather’s house at the Jersey shore to go crabbing. We came home one time with two bushels of Jersey Blue Claws that had to be cooked and cleaned.

After a while my dad who was doing most of the picking came up with the brilliant idea of using a water pick to blast the meat from those tiny little legs to speed things up.  His idea worked but when my mom came in the kitchen, she had a fit when she saw crab meat hanging from the ceiling and walls. My dad ended up having to repaint the entire kitchen.

I find it much easier to buy fresh lump crab meat at my local fish market where someone else has spent hours picking the meat. Great if you can find it”¦even better if you can afford it. A more affordable alternative is buying “pasteurized” crab meat in 16 oz cans. Costco sells a Phillips brand that is “hand picked lump” that is not bad at all.

On the label they describe how the Phillips family has been processing crab meat for more than forty years for their Phillips Seafood restaurant. The crab comes from the “tropical waters of Asia, then cooked, hand picked and pasteurized”.

Is this crab as good as my dad’s water picked fresh crab? No way, but it does make a tasty crab cake.  My 6-year-old daughter loves to help me make the crab cakes. She says she’s making crabby patties like they do on the SpongeBob cartoons. Whatever works,right?

There are hundreds of recipes out there for crab cakes. I think everyone in Maryland has a secret family recipe. I use the recipe on the can as a guide and then alter it depending on what I have in-house the day I’m making them. The recipe on the Phillips can calls for Phillips Seafood Seasoning.  I substitute Old Bay Seasoning but you can use whatever you like or have on hand.

Maryland Crabs For Sale Online

Crab Cakes Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Crab Cakes Recipe


1 egg

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

¾ cup breadcrumbs

16 oz. lump crab meat

How To Prepare At Home

In a good size-mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together except for the lump crab meat. Be sure to wash your hands (or your kid's hands) first and then get in there and mix all the ingredients together.

Fold in the crab meat into this mixture but be careful not to overwork it or the nice large "lumps" will break into small pieces.

How to Cook

I typically sauté the crab cakes in a little bit of olive oil and butter mixture but you can also bake them in a 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Alternatively you can grill them until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. It's that easy.

I serve them with a red pepper coulis my wife whips up in the blender.

Last modified on Thu 8 January 2015 11:26 am

Filed in: Crab Recipes

Comments (26)

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  1. Dave Witts says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.
    Unfortunately you do not say how much crabmeat to use?
    How many crab cakes should this recipe make?
    Do you use fresh breadcrumbs or are packet breadcrumbs okay?

  2. Reluctant Gourmet says:

    I made this recipe with one 16 oz. can of pasturized lump crabmeat that I purchased at Costco. It’s in the recipe now.

    How many it makes depends on the size of the cake you make. My 8 year old daughter loves these crab cakes but I make smaller ones for her. I’ve also made miniature cakes and served them as appetizers.

    Fresh breadcrumbs are always better but not necessary. I used a non generic commercial brand of unseasoned breadcrumbs but have also made them with a Japanese breadcrumb called Panko (PAHN-koh) which is a little coarser than breadcrumbs you find in the supermarket.

  3. Liesl says:

    I live in a small town in northern Botswana, near the Okavango Delta. We can only get crab sticks. Could I mash these up and use them in place of the crab meat?

  4. Andy St,.Onge says:

    Made these without the worcestershire, lemon juice and dry mustard, and added half an onion and they were better than any I have ever had. Even from any restaurant.

  5. Capt. Lenny says:

    also add to the recipe –red potatoes boiled and mashed with left over salmon. Try it greattttt…

  6. Marian says:

    Liesl, seems if you did not get a reply. I live in Mozambique and have same problem. Did you try it yet with crabsticks – paid an arm and leg for them, don’t want to waste it?

  7. Kim says:

    Thank you for the cooking tips. I made crab cakes with a similiar recipe but wanted to see if there were cooking alternatives other than pan frying.

  8. Tina says:

    Can these be deep fryed or is pan-fried prefered? I’ve been told that deep frying crab cakes is better.

  9. RG says:

    Tina, I prefer to pan-fry or saute these crab cakes. Although I love deep fried foods like homemade french fries and fried calamari, I stay away from them for diet reasons. We did, however, just fry up a batch of deep fried chicken legs the other night that were excellent.

    I have also seen a lot of recipes that call for baking crab cakes and then you might want to try pan roasting where you brown them in a pan and finish them in the oven.

    If you do deep fry some, please come back and let us know how they were. – The Reluctant Gourmet

  10. Sara says:

    I have tried and then modified them. Try chopped red peppers and scallions (green onions) finely chopped and mixed in. YuMMM!

  11. Jeannie says:

    This sounds great but I have to come clean and admit that I am a mayonnaise hater. Is there anything I could use in its place, or would they come out just as well without? Thanks!

  12. Stephen says:


    I’d use an equal amount of creme fraiche, though you may need to add a bit more bread crumbs for cohesion. I almost always go this route, as I rarely have mayo but always have creme fraiche. Trader Joe’s had it for a good price.

  13. RG says:

    Thanks for that suggestion for Jeannie, Stephen. I wonder how a plain yogurt would work?

  14. GaNeane says:

    About how many servings does the above recipe make?

    Hi GaNeane, hard to say. Really depends on how large you make the patties. I typically make the kids crab cakes a little smaller than our but if you made them all the same size, I’d say 6 to 8 cakes. – RG

  15. Lauren says:

    This is very similar to a recipe that my mother uses to make crab cakes expect that I always add hot sauce because my family love things a bit spicy. I think that crab cakes are easy recipes that appear like they took a lot more time and even effort than they did. I love that about them. They are quick to make, delicious and impressive. I work with better recipes so I am always reviewing recipes and I love find easy recipes like this. Also I think pan frying take a little bit longer but it makes them much crispier.

    Thanks Lauren – RG

  16. Alex Tevis says:

    What is the nutrition information on this recipe? Mainly Sodium and Potassium ? These crab cakes sound wonderful! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks Alex

    Hi Alex, sorry but I do not have the nutrition information on my recipes but there are programs on the Internet that will convert the ingredients in a recipe and break them down into the information you are looking for. – RG

  17. Jack says:

    When you saute, typically how long on each side? How do you know when they are done? An earlier poster suggested that pan frying makes them crispier so I am looking forward to trying that. Usually we bake our crab cakes.

    Hi jack, great question. The crab meat from a can or if you buy pasteurized crab meat is already cooked so they are done when the outside reaches the desired crispiness and warms up the center sufficiently. Which is a better technique, pan frying or baking? That is really up to the individual who’s eating them. I would make experiment with a batch of crab cakes – pan fry one, bake another and then try broiling a third and see which one you like best and please let us know. – RG

  18. CAPT. BILL says:


    Sounds good Captain Bill. What’s the address? – RG

  19. Dawn says:

    If you’re going to Smith Island, make sure you get some Smith Island cake!

    I make crab cakes with no crackers or bread filler, I just use a little mayo, mustard, old bay, parsley and salt. Because there’s no filler they can fall apart, so it’s best to use a scoop to put them on a pan, then broil them, removing carefully with a spatula when they are done.

    These sound great Dawn. Thanks for sharing. – RG

  20. Eating Seafood says:

    Awesome crab cake recipe! It looks delicious! Thanks again for your recipe!

  21. Jack Ziegler says:

    Your recipe sounds pretty authentic. I would suggest using fresh chopped parsley rather than dried. Also use yellow mustard, rather than Dijon. I would lower the breadcrumbs to a half cup, of fresh crumbs, or 1/2 cup of crushed saltines.

    This mixture should yield 4 to 6 crab cakes, allow 2 per person per serving.

    The Phillips crab meat is from “blue swimmer crabs” caught in S.E. Asia. The lumps are machine formed, not natural. The American Blue Crab is found in the Chesapeake Bay, and coastal waters of Virginia, the Carolina’s and the Gulf of Mexico. True “lump crab meat” picked from crabs in these waters is far sweeter, and more succulent than the “swimmer crab” from S.E. Asia. In Baltimore and the Eastern Shore of Maryland you’ll pay from around $30.00 a pound for the real stuff, but it’s, oh so good.

    Hey Jack, thanks for the comments and info about crab meat. I agree, if you can find East Coast crab meat and can afford it, it is the best. – RG

  22. Elle says:

    I am going to try this one exactly as written. I’m a bit unsure about the canned crab. I have not seen it in my regular grocery store, but I can check out Costco. I can get lump crab meat from the farmer’s market though the cost is definitely high.

    A lot of recipes seem to have the wrong bread crumb to crab ratio for my taste. (My preference is heavy on the crab meat.) I might try it with the panko bread crumbs since I actually have some in the house and they aren’t getting any younger.

    This is a great site. I knew when I saw the tuna salad with eggs that I had come to the right place.

    Thanks Elle and you can always adjust the amount of bread crumbs if you like more crab in your crab cakes. You can always change some of the spices too. Some people ask me what’s the difference between panko bread crumbs and regular bread crumbs. Please read my post: Panko Bread Crumbs – RG

  23. Stacy says:

    Gorgeous crab cakes, Gary! Now I’m going to need that red pepper coulis recipe, please.

  24. diane says:

    Is one 8 oz crabcake good for an average adult?

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