Crabmeat in various forms can be found around the world. It can be prepared in thousands of ways…think about the famous Asian chilli crabs, San Francisco’s Dungeness crab cioppino, New Orleans crab gumbo, and Maryland’s famous crab cakes.
Crab cakes are a regional favorite throughout the coastal areas of our country and are a favorite of mine. If I’m dining out and I see crab cakes listed on a menu, it is probably a good bet that I will be ordering them, especially as an appetizer. But crab cakes are so easy to prepare at home, that I don’t have to wait until I go out to a restaurant to enjoy them.
These crab cakes have a light crisp coating of Panko breadcrumbs that keeps them moist. The plump cakes are made with ingredients that don’t overpower the delicate sweet taste of the crabmeat. They are good enough to serve without any sauce but I served them with a mango sweet chili salsa and coconut rice for a tropical inspired meal.
Crab Cakes With Mango Sweet Chili Salsa
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- 8 oz. crab meat (I used jumbo lump)
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce or to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/8 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, cilantro, or tarragon (which is my favorite with seafood)
- 1 c. fresh bread crumbs, lightly toasted
- 1/2 c. onion, chopped fine
- 2 Tbsp. red bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Panko breadcrumbs to coat the crab cakes
- peanut oil for sautéing
Sauté the onion and pepper in the olive oil until soft and let cool. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, lemon, Tabasco, egg and seasonings. Mix in the breadcrumbs, onions and peppers.
Gently mix in the crab meat. It is important to not overwork the crab so that the lumps don’t break up. Form the mixture into patties. (There is enough mixture to make four 3 inch cakes). Coat both sides of the cakes with the Panko breadcrumbs, patting and shaping them into cakes. Once the cakes are formed, place them on plate, cover and refrigerate from 30 minutes to several hours to let the mixture set. This will keep the crab cakes from breaking while cooking.
Heat enough peanut oil on medium high heat in a large pan to come up the side of the crab cakes about 1/4 inch. When hot, pan fry the cakes until golden on each side. (I use two spatulas, one on top and bottom when I turn delicate items). Place on a rack on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes. This will ensure that the cakes are crispy and lets any excess oil drip out.
Mango Sweet Chili Salsa
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1/4 c. sweet red onion, diced fine
- 1 or more jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together. Let sit for 30 minutes or more for the flavors to blend.
We all know that fresh and local is best. If you have a local market where you can buy fresh crabmeat, that is wonderful. But if you live in inland areas of the world, you can now find beautiful jumbo lump crab as well as claw meat sold in the refrigerated sections of your local grocery.
The sweet and spicy salsa goes so well with this dish. I have also served them with a harissa mayonnaise dipping sauce and a green salad with feta. Whatever you choose to serve with the crab cakes, I hope you enjoy them.