Crab cakes

No frustration with this crustacean

Originally appeared in the January 20, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Aside from evoking notions of warmer climes and warmer times, crab cakes are enjoyable because of their range of roles on the plate.  Depending on how big you make your cakes, they can be a satisfying appetizer, a filling entrée, or a satiating sandwich.  I even stumbled across a breakfast variation in one of my old notebooks from culinary school:  crab cakes Benedict.

This is a relatively basic recipe, with all the familiar hallmarks:  butter-golden crust, with a rich-and-savory center of sweet, aromatic crab.  More after the jump:But watch your technique here.  Pan-frying delicately-bound products can be tricky if you don’t employ a little finesse.  When turning the cakes from one side to the other, try using an offset spatula or a fish spatula (but a typical spat will work just fine as long as it’s not too clunky), and support the cake with your fingers, gently flipping out and away to prevent any hot fat from splashing back at you.

However large your portion size, and whatever your intended use may be, you’ll discover these crab cakes are light on labor, pleasing to the palate, and a year-round treat.

Crab cakes

Serves 4 – 6

  • 12 ounces crabmeat
  • 1 ounce Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ ounces mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Pinch white pepper
  • ¾ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • As needed, canola oil (for pan-frying)
  • As needed, unsalted butter (for pan-frying)

1.  Preheat oven to 400° F.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients from crabmeat to scallion.  Mixing with fingers or a flat-bladed spatula, but only to the point where mixture comes together (i.e. don’t over-do it).  Place a wide sauté pan over medium heat; add in oil to the point where the oil will come up one-quarter to halfway up the side of your crab cake.  Add a small amount of butter.

2.  Form 4-6 ounces of crab cake to a thick disc shape.  Place cake in pan; allow to cook until golden brown around the sides of the cake.  Using an offset spatula, gently flip cake.  When golden on this side, remove from pan and place in a oven-safe an or dish.  Place pan-fried cakes in 400° F and allow to cook through for 15 additional minutes until center is firm when pressed.  Depending on desired size and shape, serve immediately as an appetizer or entrée.

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Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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