Updated: Jun 27
We just held a crab-cake-making virtual event in our Facebook Group (Taking Meals Up A Notch), and it was so much fun! Due to the nature of crab cakes, it was advisable to make them as far in advance as possible of the event, up to 24 hours even, which allowed for more interaction and general "hanging out" with the people who joined the online event. This was our second event like this (we held a One Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken and Orzo group event back in February), and the group keeps growing!
Some baked their cakes, others sautéed, and in the end, both methods served to work exceptionally well! We came up with 3 recipes: a traditional Maryland style, along with keto and vegan alternatives. Pairing them with 3 sauces, as well, and you've got yourself quite an array of combinations and flavor nuances!
Try them out and let us know what you think!
Alternative Options: Gluten Free
Garlicky Dill Aioli (group fav!)
"Traditional" Maryland Crab Cakes
Ingredients (makes ~6 crab cakes)
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60g) mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried)
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (up to 2.5 teaspoons for a spicier kick)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh lump crab meat
2/3 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (about 14 crackers)
optional: 2 Tablespoons (30g) melted salted or unsalted butter
Whisk the egg, mayonnaise, parsley, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, lemon juice, and salt together in a large bowl.
In separate bowl, smash Saltines into as small of crumbs as possible. You don't need it to be dust but try to make pieces smaller than half your pinky fingernail.
Place the crab meat on top of sauce, followed by the cracker crumbs. With a rubber spatula or large spoon, very gently and carefully fold together. You don’t want to break up that crab meat!
Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, portion the crab cake mixture into 6 mounds in a Tupperware. Don’t flatten! Use your hands or a spoon to carefully compact each individual mound just enough so there aren’t any lumps sticking out or falling apart.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. This will allow for the cakes to bind together and not fall apart as easily when baking.
When ready to start cooking, preheat oven to 450°F (232°C). Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Place crab cakes evenly around baking sheet.
For extra flavor, brush each with melted butter. This is optional but recommended!
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on top. Drizzle each with fresh lemon juice and serve warm.
Keto Crab Cakes
Ingredients (makes ~4 crab cakes)
1 cup Crab meat (lump)
1 Egg (beaten)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 stalk Celery (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 Shallot (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons Parsley (finely chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons Coconut flour
4 tablespoons Olive oil (extra virgin)
2 tablespoons Butter
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the celery for 3 minutes, then add the chopped shallot and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the egg, Worcestershire, and Dijon mustard, mixing until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the Old Bay, parsley, coconut flour, and cooled vegetables, mixing thoroughly.
Gently add the crab meat to the egg mixture, folding carefully to combine to avoid breaking up the crab lumps.
Add the dry ingredients to the crab mixture, again folding gently.
Divide the crab mixture into equal parts to form 4 cakes, squeeze firmly to form a solid cake, and place in Tupperware. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 h o urs minutes and up to 1 day. This will allow for the cakes to bind together and not fall apart as easily when baking.
When ready to cook, leave crab cakes in refrigerator and heat the remaining olive oil and butter over medium heat in the nonstick sauté pan.
When oil is hot, remove cakes from refrigerator and place carefully in the hot oil, leaving at least 1" between. If needed, cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. We suggest covering your pan so they cook through. Lift each edge after three minutes - they should be browned and hold together well.
Remove from the pan with a spatula and plate. Pour any remaining hot butter/oil sauce over the cakes once plated. Serve hot with preferred sauce on top or on the side.
Vegan "Crab Cakes"
Ingredients (makes ~4 crab cakes)
3 tablespoons high smoke point oil, divided, plus more for frying
1 (14-ounce) can of hearts of palm (not packed in sugar) - roughly chopped to the consistency of crab meat
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, or more
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the hearts of palm and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Set aside to cool. Mix in uncooked celery and peppers.
Reduce heat to medium and add additional tablespoon of the oil (if needed). Add onions. Sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat, add to the hearts of palm, and mix well. Add the Old Bay seasoning, cornstarch, and mayo.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then shape the mixture into four round patties.
BREADING - In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Old Bay seasoning, stirring to mix. Coat the patties with the breadcrumb mixture and refrigerate for min 20 minutes (up to a few hours).
Heat about 3 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Carefully place the patties in the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, approximately 2 minutes per side. Watch closely to prevent burning.
Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. Serve hot, topped with the preferred sauce and lemon wedges on the side.
Pick favorite recipe above and make the following alterations:
Replace crackers/breadcrumbs with almond flour - this will serve as binding agent to help keep cakes together. Recommend adding a touch of salt to offset the absence of salt in almond flour
RECOMMENDATION: Cod or pollock. Both have similar consistency and relative flavor. Chop up to 1/2" pieces to simulate lump crab. Imitation crab (Krab) could also be used, but cod or pollock would be healthier options.
1 medium ripe avocado, halved, pitted
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1⁄3 cup chopped cilantro
Place the avocado, garlic, and lime juice in a blender or food processor.
Puree until smooth
Add a bit more lime juice or water if the mixture isn’t smooth. It should be the consistency of yogurt.
Stir in the cilantro and set aside.
CILANTRO BUTTER SAUCE
1⁄3 cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup butter, cut into pieces
1 large Roma tomato, skinned, seeded, diced
Fresh chopped cilantro (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, boil the vinegar until reduced by half.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter pieces until incorporated.
Stir in the diced tomato, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
GARLICKY DILL AÏOLI
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
Set in the fridge to keep cool.