When I think about my one of my favorite items to order at restaurants, Crab Cakes undoubtedly come to mind. For the longest time, I was scared of making these at home worried that I would mess them up. I was mystified by these delicious seafood bites and admittedly so, I cherished them. I was part of the reason why I was so scared to try them at home until I did…and failed miserably. You see, the thing is that not all crab cakes are created equally and unless you’re actively making crab cakes no one actually tells you this.
Crab Cakes are fairly easy to make. In fact, over complicating and over-seasoning them is what can ruin a good crab cake. In my experience, crab cakes are all about the integrity of the ingredients. If you start off with so-so ingredients you’re going to end up with so-so crab cakes. This is especially true when selecting the kind of crab meat that you’re going to use. If you use the wrong one, or a crab meat that isn’t fresh then chances are your crab cakes aren’t going to wow.
In my quest for mastering crab cakes, I found that using the right crab meat is just as important as using fresh ingredients. I also found that everyone likes their crab cakes differently. Me personally, I prefer a lump crab cake with very little filler but tons of garlic. (I love garlic. I can’t help it.) Lump crab meat is subtle in flavor and has a hint of sweetness. It’s also fairly expensive but still cheaper that paying $12 for two crab cakes when out at a restaurant. Claw meat is much cheaper but it’s also fishier. I would argue that it’s too fishy for a crab cake and is best suited for crab stew or bisque. However, to each their own. I won’t judge you if you prefer claw meat or lump meat for your crab cakes. I’ve experimented and used both in my crab cakes and I still prefer lump meat over claw meat. Regardless, always remember that the crab meat is the star of the show.
Here are some quick tips to making the perfect crab cakes:
- Always use fresh ingredients
- Opt for Lump Crab Meat if possible
- Saute your onions, peppers, and garlic first before adding to your crab cakes
- Mix the mayo, mustard, and eggs separately BEFORE adding to your crab cake mixture. The slurry will help keep the crab cakes together and distribute flavor evenly
- After forming your crab cakes, chill them in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking
- For ultimate flavor, sear crab cakes using a mix of butter and oil
- Heat your skillet before adding butter and oil. This will ensure that the skillet is hot enough to perfectly sear your crab cakes
And now for the recipe….
- 1 lbs Lump Crabmeat
- ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 Celery Stick
- 1 Shallot
- 1 Scallion
- ¼ cup Mayo
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbs Chopped Cilantro
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 tbs Unsalted Butter *as needed
- ½ Sour Orange
- 1 Large Egg
- Salt to Taste
- Pepper to Taste
If your crab cakes are having a hard time staying together, feel free to add more breadcrumbs.