My Favorite Crab Cake

Crab cakes are a crowd favorite. I have eaten allot of crab cakes over the years, and I have made 100 times more. When it comes to crab cakes I serve to my family and friends the rule is that it is all about the crab, keep it simple. A few simple tips;
– When it comes to breading/binder I use the least amount possible to get it to just hold together
– Make the mix, form into cakes on parchment lined sheet pan, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking to firm up
– Dust the outside lightly with breading just before pan frying
– Pan fry in clarified butter, add whole butter on the flip and baste
– My favorite breading is crushed Ritz crackers (add a buttery taste and good binding), next is panko (good crunch on exterior when pan fried, have to let sit in fridge prior to cooking, otherwise will be crunchy on inside as well), homemade brioche breadcrumbs (really buttery but more soft pudding like texture when mixed as opposed to Ritz which stay granular), white bread panade, bread cubes soaked in milk and mashed (this is the most neutral and old school way, similar to Devil crab or old Imperial recipes
– I like Old Bay, in moderation, depending on the type of crab, for example I use less in a cake of our super lump than I do in one with our claw meat
– Our crab is already 100% cooked, do not overcook your crab cakes, especially if oven baking
– Everyone loves a good sauce, and they are simple to make with stuff in the fridge, even as simple as a 50/50 mayo/mustard “Dijonaise”
– Use your hands to mix it, especially if using Super or Jumbo lump, it is allot of work, and money, for those big pieces of crab, keep them whole!
– If cooking for a crowd, a cheap electric griddle does an amazing job on a dozen+ cakes at a time, add are nonstick
– Left over crab meat, yes it does happen, make it into a cake and freeze, as opposed to freezing the crab plain

– Chef John

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Crabmeat I prefer our Superlump
  • 12 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Seafood Seasoning, like Old Bay brand
  • 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 pound Crabmeat I prefer our Superlump
  • 2 TBS Clarified butter
  • 12 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Seafood Seasoning, like Old Bay brand
  • 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 TBS Clarified butter

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients except the crab and crackers. Add the crab and gently separate the pieces and toss with the wet mixture to coat. Dust over 1/2 of the crushed crackers evenly over the crab meat. Gently toss to combine evenly and see if it will just hold together, if not add more crumbs and repeat process. Form into even sized cakes, using a portion scoop or ring mold if preferred, on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to firm. Optional, dust the outside with remaining crushed crackers or panko breadcrumbs (for a crunchy exterior). In a large nonstick pan, heat butter over medium, cook cakes turning once, until golden browned and heated through.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients except the crab and crackers. Add the crab and gently separate the pieces and toss with the wet mixture to coat. Dust over 1/2 of the crushed crackers evenly over the crab meat. Gently toss to combine evenly and see if it will just hold together, if not add more crumbs and repeat process. Form into even sized cakes, using a portion scoop or ring mold if preferred, on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to firm. Optional, dust the outside with remaining crushed crackers or panko breadcrumbs (for a crunchy exterior). In a large nonstick pan, heat butter over medium, cook cakes turning once, until golden browned and heated through.

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