This homemade Crab Cakes recipe couldn’t be more delicious or easy, made with fresh lump crab meat, bell pepper, cilantro, mayo and spices. Serve them as an appetizer or main dish, topped with our crab cakes sauce.
My mom made this recipe for homemade crab cakes for the first time when I was a teenager and my family was immediately obsessed! We then went through a crab cakes “craze” where we had them really often–usually as part of Sunday dinner. Wow was I spoiled!
If you’re not familiar with crab cakes, they are fish patties made with seasoned lump crab meat coated in bread crumbs and lightly pan fried, baked, or broiled.
What sets this recipe apart?
What sets my recipe apart from others is how well the crab flavor is highlighted. Most crab cake recipes have a lot of “fillers” inside, like crushed crackers, chopped veggies, and tons of herbs and seasonings. They may taste fine, but you can barely taste any crab! This crab cakes recipe has minimal fillers so that the crab is really the star of the patty.
How to make crab cakes, step-by-step:
- Add the crab meat to a bowl and mix in the bell pepper, mayonnaise, old bay seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour. This will make the crab cakes easier to form and hold their shape.
- Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the crab, which will yield about 7, three inch crab cakes. You could make them smaller if you want more for an appetizer.
- Press the mixture firmly into your measuring cup and then invert the mixture into the palm of your hand and flatten it gently, molding it tightly with your hands to form a flat disc.
- Grab two shallow bowls and add 2 beaten eggs to one, and panko bread crumbs to the other. Gently sprinkle the crab cakes with cornstarch and then set them in the egg mixture, using a pastry brush to brush beaten egg over their top, and then gently transfer them to the panko breadcrumbs, using your hands to scoop and press breadcrumbs around the sides and on top of the crab cake.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the crab cakes and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Tips for Perfect Crab Cakes:
Crab meat: Since the main ingredient in crab cakes is obviously CRAB, you want to buy good quality lump crab meat! You get what you pay for. Avoid the kind that comes in a can like tuna fish.
Baked Crab Cakes: To bake crab cakes, cook them at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Crab Cakes Sauce: I serve my crab cakes with chipotle mayo sauce (recipe below). Other popular sauces to serve with crab cakes include tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, cocktail sauce and horseradish-sriracha sauce.
What to serve with crab cakes?
- 1 pound lump crab meat
- 1/2 cup bell pepper (yellow, red, or a little of both), chopped
- 2 large eggs , separated
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasonings
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro , chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Panko bread crumbs
Crab Cakes Sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons chives , finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make chipotle mayo crab cakes sauce by combining the ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. (This can be made several days in advance).
- In a mixing bowl add the crab meat, bell peppers, one beaten egg, Old Bay seasoning, mayo, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper. Gently stir just until blended.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 5 hours.
- Beat the remaining egg and add to a shallow dish. Add the panko bread crumbs to another dish.
- Spoon about 1/3 of the mixture into your palm and flatten into a small disc, about 3 inches in diameter.
- Sprinkle the outsides of the crab cake patties with a tiny bit of cornstarch.
- Dip each patty lightly in the beaten egg, and then coat them lightly with panko bread crumbs. I try to avoid doing a thick coating of crumbs because I like the crab flavor to shine through as much as possible.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the crab cakes and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side, until golden brown on bottom.
- Gently flip to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a plate. Serve warm with chipotle mayo sauce for dipping.
Have you tried this recipe?!
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