Crab Cakes are one of our favorite ways to eat crab. These come together quickly, and are loaded with crab meat. The addition of Cajun Cream Sauce gives a special twist, but you can easily serve them with just lemon wedges or your favorite sauce.
Over the years I’ve made crab cakes a lot, but never quite been satisfied with the results until these. You’ve got to have some type of filler to hold the cakes together, but finding the perfect balance of crab meat and filler has been tough. Also, what is the perfect filler? In the past I’ve mostly tried a combination of egg and a few bread crumbs, but these have no eggs. I used panko bread crumbs, because I like how light and airy they are. There are a few on the outside for a subtle, crispy finish too.
What kind of crab meat is best for crab cakes?
Well, naturally, living on the coast and catching your own crab would be best. But, how many of us are in a position to do that? I’ve used crab from a can, but even buying the top quality, most expensive one hasn’t given me great results. The refrigerated kind from your seafood department or market is better, but still not perfect.
Then, I heard from my sister-in-law, Susan, that she made crab cakes from snow crab legs. Most of your seafood departments will carry them. They may have a few in the case that are thawed, but generally they’re previously frozen. I always ask for some that haven’t been thawed. They’re fully cooked and the meat that comes out of them is just divine.
Cleaning the crab meat out is the only time-consuming part of this, but it’s not bad. The long legs will just break in half and the crab meat comes out in one, long, beautiful hunk. Most clusters will have one claw and I use a nut cracker to break those open. Ordering info is below if you don’t have the right kind of nut cracker.
I had three large clusters and got almost exactly 8 ounces of crab meat from them. If the clusters seem on the small side you may want to get four.
More Seafood Recipes
This is not the first time I’ve gotten recipe inspiration from Susan. Shrimp and Grits is one of our most popular posts on Biscuits and Burlap and that one is also “Susan-inspired”. And then there’s Easy Lobster Flatbread. Are you seeing a pattern here? Susan loves seafood, and so do we.
Best Tips for Making Crab Cakes?
After you get them put together, refrigerate for at least two hours before you cook them. This will help hold them together as they cook – an important step since they’ve got minimal filler. And placing them on waxed paper or parchment before they go in the fridge makes it easier to move them to the skillet for cooking.
If you don’t have exact ingredients these substitutions are fine.
We’re all about using what you have and reducing food waste. In keeping true to those beliefs we offer you these options:
- Use any type of bread crumbs if you don’t have Panko (or make your own)
- Don’t have a fresh lemon for zesting? Use a spoonful of bottled lemon juice
- No Old Bay? Season with your favorite seasonings
- Any type vegetable oil is fine if you don’t have canola
- Dried parsley if you don’t have fresh – just use less (1 teaspoon instead of 1 Tablespoon)
Even though we call the sauce “Cajun Cream Sauce” the seasoning we actually use is Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. It’s an important ingredient in our Shrimp and Grits, too and we love it. If you have another favorite you can certainly use that, but don’t try to take away our Tony Chachere’s unless you’re ready for a fight. We also use it in the Creole Aioli with our Homemade French Fries and Gouda Grits with Cajun Spice.
The crab meat is the star of these crab cakes because they have minimal filler. Cajun Cream Sauce is the perfect, lemony accent.
- 8-10 ounces crab meat, coarsley chopped preferably snow crab
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs divided
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp mayonaisse
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper or, to taste
- 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning divided
- 2-3 tbsp canola oil
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 2 tbsp butter cut into pieces
Combine 1/2 panko crumbs and 1/2 Old Bay and set aside for coating.
Combine remaining ingredients, leaving crab for last.
Form into 4 patties.
Place on waxed or parchment paper and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours
Heat canola oil over medium heat.
Cook crab cakes in oil 3-4 minutes per side, turning carefully.
Cook wine and lemon juice over medium high heat, until liquid is mostly evaporated.
Add butter and seasonings and whisk, just until butter is melted.
Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Need dessert for after those crab cakes? Check these out.