Crab Cakes with Spicy Mustard Sauce

It’s my 250th post!  I thought that deserved something a little special so I had a few friends over to help celebrate.  The month’s issue of Cookling Light has a bunch of good stuff in and the crab cakes top the list.  The seafood guy was at the farmers’ market yesterday so that made the decision even easier.  Throw in a little squash and a mozzarella salad and it’s the perfect summer dinner with friends.

People who love crab cakes feel very strongly about the best way to make them. This is another one of those dishes where there are as many recipes as there are people who make them.  Overall the key is to use good quality crab meat and just enough other stuff to hold them together.  I like to make sure that the added ingredients in my crab cakes are almost unnoticeable.  I chop the peppers and onions very finely.  This recipe calls for green onions instead of regular ones which I thought was a terrific substitution.  A nice subtle flavor and easy to chop so fine you don’t really notice them.  This recipe also calls for panko instead of bread crunbs which I think is another great option.  They’re lighter than breadcrumbs and don’t get as dense when they get wet.

The other key is to handle them gently.  Often when I’m making recipes with this kind of mixing (meatloaf, banana bread, etc) I do the mixing with my hands.  Not with these.  I mix these with a silicone spatula.  And you’re not so much mixing as folding.  Just fold everything until it’s visibly combined.  Then form the cakes gently with your hands.  So that the crab cakes will be mostly the same size I kind of portion out my mixture before I start forming them.  If you don’t the last one may end up a lot smaller than the rest.  And you really don’t want to have to borrow a little from the others and reform them.  You want to handle these as little as possible.  You can make them an hour or two ahead if that’s easiest.  If you do that just wait to coat them in panko until just before you cook them.  You don’t want the crust to be soggy.

Cook these in olive or canola oil, not butter.  I know, using butter is tempting because it tastes so good with crab.  The problem is that butter has such a low smoke point you’ll end up with the outside of your crab cakes burned before the insides are warm.  And be sure to use enough oil.  It’s the oil that makes a crust with the panko and holds the hold thing together.  If you don’t get a crust on the first side the crab cake will be difficult to turn and it will fall apart on the plate. I had a dry spot in my pan so 2 of the crab cakes don’t have that lovely brown crust.  Also be sure to cook just a few at a time.  If you crowd the pan you’ll tear up some of the crab cakes as you try to turn others.

So that’s the crab cakes.  Now the sauce.  This sauce is so, so good.  I need to find many other uses for it.  I made a couple of substitutions and I think both of them were good ones.  First, I don’t use canola mayonnaise.  Only Duke’s mayonnaise in this house.  And I substituted plain greek yogurt for the sour cream.  It just adds a little extra tang.  Next time I might use a stone ground mustard instead of, or in combination with, the dijon.  The parsley came out of the herb garden and adds a nice sweetness.  Don’t substitute dried parsley. The fresh is important here.  Make the sauce a little ahead and put it in the fridge for the flavors to blend.

The side for this meal are both summer fresh and summer yummy.  I sauteed some squash and onions as I often do.  For this meal I used some smoked paprika and a little salt.  Yum.  I’ll do that again.  The other side is a fantastic fresh mozzarella and tomato salad with lots of fresh herbs and just a pinch of crushed red pepper contributed by one of the girls.  Any time you make one of these salads just be sure that you use a good olive oil.  You really taste it in these so it matters.

A perfect end of summer dinner.  Good food, good wine, good friends and lots of laughs.  Thanks to the girls for helping celebrate the 250th post from One Woman’s Kitchen!

Good? So, so good.
Easy? We’ll call this intermediate because you have to handle it all so carefully.
Good for company? Oh, absolutely.
Special shopping? Get good, fresh crab. No cans please.

Crab Cakes with Spicy Mustard Sauce


1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper


1. Combine first 7 ingredients. Add 1/3 cup panko and crab; toss gently. Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place remaining panko in a shallow dish. Gently dredge patties in panko.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and crab cakes.
3. Combine 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and remaining ingredients; serve with crab cakes.


One Response to “Crab Cakes with Spicy Mustard Sauce”

  1. Brandy Says:

    Yummiest crab cakes ever!

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