If you like crab cakes, you will love my easy recipe for Southern Blue Crab Cakes. It's a simple, delicious combination of fresh blue crab lump crabmeat, and just enough mayonnaise, egg, and cracker crumbs to bind it together.
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: easy crab cake recipes, recipes for crab cakes
Pour the meat out on a clean sheet pan or plate and pick through it with your fingers to remove any remaining small pieces of shell. Handle it carefully and try not to break up the lumps. It's hard to see the bits of the shell but you can feel them with your fingers.
Add the "picked over" crabmeat and crushed saltines to a medium-size bowl and mix gently. Set aside.
Add the mayonnaise, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Combine the two mixtures and gently toss the ingredients together.
Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
To form the cakes, roughly divide the mixture and then, using your hands, lightly shape it into one-half inch cakes about three inches wide, just until it holds together. I like to use a one-third cup measuring cup to make sure all of the cakes are the same size. Do not pack the mixture tightly.
Place the cakes on a plate lined with a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add four of the cakes. Cook for about three minutes or until they are golden brown and gently turn them over using a slotted fish turner or pancake turner. I usually hold the top of the cake lightly with my fingers when turning them over to make sure they don't fall apart.
Cook them for another three minutes or until they are golden brown on the other side. Remove from the skillet. Drain on a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cakes.
Serve warm with plenty of remoulade, tartar, or cocktail sauce.
The easiest way to crush the crackers is to put them in a plastic storage bag and break them up with your hands. You can also use a rolling pin or even put them in your food processor.
If you want to make them ahead, prepare them up to the step of forming the patties, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Then cook as directed.
I know fresh crab is expensive, but don't even think about trying to substitute canned or imitation crab meat.
Crabmeat is sold as jumbo-lump, lump, and claw meat. Jumbo-lump is the most expensive; regular lump meat is fine for this recipe, and you can also use claw meat.
Fresh crabmeat will keep in your refrigerator for 7-10 days.
Handle the crab and the crab mixture gently and try not to break up the lumps. Also, when shaping the patties, do not compress more than necessary. There is no question that crab cakes are delicate and do fall apart easily. That's why it's essential to chill the mixture before you form the cakes, and then again after making them into cakes before you cook them. Don't skip this step; this is what helps them firm up. Also, handle them carefully and as little as possible because even with the chilling, they are still fragile.
If you are making the smaller appetizer-size cakes, make them about the size of a silver dollar and between 1/4 and 1/3 inch thick. Since they are smaller, the cooking time will be less than half of the larger ones.
Leftovers should be covered and can be refrigerated for up to three days. They can also be frozen. But, they will need to thaw before reheating.
To reheat, remove them from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat and heat for 1-2 minutes per side.