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Fresh crab cake recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Tips & recipes for crab cakes

Fresh crab season is in full swing, giving you the scrumptious opportunity to make crab cakes with fresh crab meat.

Crab Cake with Baked Potato

Choosing fresh crabs

If you are lucky enough to live near an ocean or bay that offers fresh, live crabs, go crabbing for the ultimate "sea to table" experience. Otherwise, get fresh crabs from a reputable fishmonger or seaside farmer's market.

If fresh crabs aren't in your locale, check seafood purveyors online; they will send you crabs live or steamed. Since crab meat must be cooked before you make crab cakes, steamed crabs will save you a step in the process. Live crabs are guaranteed fresh -- but there's nothing like cooking crabs that are scurrying all around.

Making crab cakes

After the crabs are cooked, you must pick the meat out of the shells, keeping the lumps as large as possible. This can be tedious work because you have to make sure no shells or cartilage are left in the meat.

You can make classic crab cakes, of course, but there are many mouthwatering variations. Add jalapenos for a spicy kick. Try fresh herbs, olives, tomatoes, avocadoes or artichoke hearts. You can even make crab cakes without the breadcrumbs for full crab flavor.

Crab cakes also make great sandwiches with just a little tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, homemade aioli or spicy chili sauce. Yum!

Crab cake recipes

Jalapeno Crab Cakes

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh lump crab meat, steamed
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 tablespoons thyme, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 slices day-old white bread, made into crumbs
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:
1. Combine crab meat with onion, pepper, thyme, mayonnaise, egg, mustard and cayenne in a large bowl and gently mix.

2. Mix breadcrumbs into crab mixture and form into 6 cakes.

3. Heat butter in a skillet and add crab cakes a few at a time. Cook about 5 minutes per side or until golden.

4. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve with chili-mango sauce (recipe below).

Tomato and Olive Crab Cakes

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh lump crab meat, steamed
1/3 cup crushed crackers
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped green or black olives
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
Dash tabasco sauce
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:
1. Combine crab meat with crackers, shallot, olives, tomatoes, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and Tabasco in a large bowl and gently mix.

2. Form mixture into 6 cakes. Heat oil in a skillet and add crab cakes a few at a time. Cook 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.

3. Transfer crab cakes to paper towels to drain. Serve with your favorite seafood sauce.

Chili-Mango Sauce

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 mangoes, pitted, peeled, diced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons minced chili pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
Salt, to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and puree.

More on crabs and crab cakes

How to cook fresh crab
Soft-shell crab recipes
Avocado-stuffed crab cakes

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