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Crab Cakes: the ultimate recipe for the famous Maryland seafood dish

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist


1/3 cup
Large egg
Dijon mustard
2 tbsp
Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp
Hot sauce
1/2 tsp
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
jumbo lump crabmeat
1 lb
Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cups
fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp
Lemon wedges

If you're looking for an ultra-tasty, easy-to-make appetizer that you can make in no time, you'll love this simple crab cakes recipe. Made from jumbo crabmeat and seasoned with mayo, mustard, hot sauce, and parsley, these Maryland crab cakes are crispy on the outside and creamy and tender on the inside.

They're a fantastic impressive starter you can serve to guests at dinner parties or over the holidays, but they're easy enough to make for your family when the mood strikes.

What is the Best Crabmeat for Crab Cakes?

The best crab meat for crab cakes depends entirely on your preferences. To make true Maryland crab cakes, then Maryland blue crabs are the way to go. They have a wonderful buttery flavor. However, Dungeness crabs are sometimes preferred due to their large size. It's your choice!

Just make sure you buy hand-picked crab meat. This means it's been picked to remove the shells. Before mixing the crabmeat, check it one last time for shells – you wouldn't want to bite into a crab cake only to discover there are still some pieces of shell in the meat! Of course, you can also use canned crab meat. It's a more cost-effective option.

Maryland Crab Cakes Ingredients

The secret to making the best Maryland crab cakes is using the right ingredients. Jumbo crabmeat seasoned with fresh chopped parsley, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, spicy Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise will give you tons of flavor and help make the crab cakes stay nice and creamy on the inside. Panko breadcrumbs will give the patties a bit of crunch, and when combined with egg, will help the crab cakes hold their shape when you're frying them.

How to Make Crab Cakes

To make these mouthwatering Maryland crab cakes, grab a small bowl and beat the mayonnaise, egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to combine. In a second larger bowl, mix the crab, panko, and parsley. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the crab mixture, then shape the mixture into 8 evenly-sized patties.

Pour the oil into a large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is good and hot, gently lay the crab patties in the oil and cook them for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, then flip them and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve them hot, preferably with fresh lemons and plenty of homemade tartar sauce.


Can You Make Crab Cakes Ahead?

Absolutely! You can assemble the crab cakes up to 1 day in advance and cook them the day you're planning to serve them. You can also prep and cook them, then store them in the fridge up to 1 day in advance.

Tips for the Best Crab Cakes

Fry the crab cakes in batches so you don't overcrowd the skillet. This will help them get golden brown and crispy.

To stop your crab cakes from falling apart, refrigerate them for about 30 minutes before cooking them.

To make healthier versions of these tasty crab cakes, you can bake them or cook them in the air fryer. Baked crab cakes should be cooked for 12 to 14 minutes at 450F.

For air fryer crab cakes, cook the crab patties in an air fryer preheated to 400F. Fry them for 5 minutes on each side.

Jazz up your crab cakes by adding a sprinkling of Old Bay seasoning to the crab meat.

What to Serve with Crab Cakes

Serve your crab cakes with a side of tartar sauce and some fresh lemon wedges. They're also great with a spicy remoulade, hot sauce, horseradish, and lime-cilantro dressing.

Crab cakes are a wonderful appetizer that can be made into a main dish by serving them with green salads, pasta salads, roasted vegetables, fries, and coleslaw.

How to Store Crab Cakes

Cooked crab cakes will last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They'll stay fresh for up to 4 months when frozen. You can assemble the crab cakes and freeze them before cooking. Store them individually wrapped in cling film and freeze them for up to 2 months.

More Recipes You'll Like

Hot crab dip

Zucchini crab cakes

Crab stuffed mushrooms

Crab puff


Beat mayonnaise, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in a small bowl

In a large bowl, combine crab, panko, and parsley. Add in the mayonnaise mixture, then shape the mixture into 8 patties.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the crab cakes in the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

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